THE CONTROLLER and Accountant-General, Mr Christian Tetteh Sottie has cautioned government employees as well as supervisors to take good care of their payslips because there is a syndicate which steals payslips and buys hire-purchase goods in those names.
“Some government employees have been reporting that certain deductions have been made from their salaries even though they had not placed any order for hire-purchase goods,” he said.
Mr Sottie, who was speaking at a public forum for workers and pensioners at Koforidua last week said, just recently, a man who came to bribe a sweeper at the department to get him waste payslips or duplicates was nabbed by the security personnel after the sweeper gave a tip-off.
Mr Sottie expressed great concern about the growing phenomenon of government employees always blaming his outfit for any problem in the payment of salaries.
He was particularly not happy with teachers who constitute about two-thirds of all government employees, saying that their complaints concerning delays of salaries were usually pushed onto his doorstep.
He pointed out that teachers' consistent complaints that a section of them had not been receiving their salaries led to a meeting between the department and the cabinet sub-committee.
According to him, it was at the meeting that it was detected that officials at the Ghana Education Service head office had not keyed into the integrated payroll system the names of those affected teachers who numbered about 10,000.
Mr Sottie explained that they are just servants and if their 'masters' direct that certain people should not be paid, they only have to obey those instructions.
He entreated government employees to contact their 'bosses' or the personnel payroll sections concerning issues of correction of grades, transfer of salaries, deletion of names of deceased staff, suspension of salaries, re-activation of suspended salaries by MDAs or PPDs promotion, salaries of new employees, change of date of birth, change of name, correction of wrongly spelt name, correction of SSNIT numbers and change of bank details.
“If there is any problem concerning your salaries, please report first to your immediate boss or your department's payroll section for them to help you,” he told the workers.
He also stated that as a result of the new Integrated Personnel Payroll Database known as 'The Oracle', some employees have been getting “unlawful” bonuses and arrears.
He noted that since the system is a computer, it will correct itself with time so those 'free' bonuses or arrears will eventually be recovered by the computer through similar deductions.
“If you are enjoying those bonuses or arrears, don't think it is free government money. It is because of the change-over and definitely you will pay back,” he said.
He appealed to government employees to appreciate the tedious work that his officials do every month which includes working on salaries of 362,000 government employees out of which 243,000 are teachers.
Some of the workers suggested the use of quality paper in printing the payslips so that they don't get torn easily, while others asked for legible printing of figures on the payslips.
From Thomas Fosu Jnr, Koforidua