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18.12.2008 Elections

Akoto Osei: Don't be deceived by NDC

By The Statesman
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The Minister of state at the Ministry of Finance, Anthony Akoto Osei has advised public servants, especially teachers and health workers, to reject all derogatory statements and lies emerging from the camp of the opposition National Democratic Congress to the effect that government had decided to delay their salary arrears just for political reasons.

He said some members of the NDC were going round and lying to public servants that government had decided to delay the payment of their salaries and using the money for political activities and that their government, when voted into power, would immediately facilitate a  process towards prompt  payment of their salary arrears.

This, he regarded as a fallacy.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra Monday, Anthony Akoto Osei refuted allegations that some public and civil servants had not been paid over the last few months.

According to him, there hadn't been any outstanding salary payment as far as he was concerned, and noted that the issue under contention was related to arrears in allowances for public and civil servants who were promoted in the course of the year.

He assured that all salaries had been paid and cleared by the Bank of Ghana as at 15 December, 2008 and arrears also added on top.

 "I must assure you that all public sector salaries up to the month of December have been paid and cleared and you can assess it from now onwards,' he said.

He disclosed that government was applying all strategies to make the payment system more efficient to cushion quick payment of salaries.

He noted that the reason behind the delay in the payment of arrears to public servants after their promotion, was due to the abnormalities experienced in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Database I which was developed in 1998, under the NDC government.

He said due to the poor nature of the software, it quickly got outdated the following year thereby, bringing operations to a halt.

The government afterwards decided to adopt a new software system, that"s the Integrated Personnel Payroll Database II to tackle the problem.

He said though government was successful in its efforts in the implementation process which began in 2005, the system faced some petty challenges.

Dr Akoto Osei gave the assurance that experts had so far been assigned to help find quick solutions to the challenges confronting the new system to facilitate its effective operation.

The Controller and Accountant General, Christian Sottie, also clarified at the press conference that his outfit only prepares payrolls for names that had been submitted by the various Ministries Departments and Agencies.

He said the failure of such institutions to submit the list of their staff on time also delay transactions for quick payment sometimes; and called on the finance department of the various ministries agencies and departments to liaise with them to make things work properly.

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