Accra, June 4, GNA - Mr John Prempeh, Controller and Accountant General, on Friday blamed occasional delays in the payment of salaries to Civil Servants on obsolete machinery that it was currently using to generate payrolls and not the refusal of its staff to work extra hours as being speculated.
"We have an IPPD (Integrated Payroll Personnel Database) system that is very, very old and breaks down from time to time, thereby affecting salary payments," he said, adding that his Department was unable to meet payday targets for last month due to one such breakdowns.
Mr Prempeh was speaking with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in reaction to a statement by the Greater Accra Regional Branch of the Civil Servants Association (CSA) alleging that apart from "the old story of faulty machinery", delays in the payment of their salaries were being compounded by refusal of the Controller Staff to work extra hours due to the withdrawal of their overtime allowances.
The statement, signed by the Regional Secretary of CSA, Mr J.L.A Quarshie, said the delays were creating a lot of anxiety and unnecessary tension in the Service and that should it continue; it would lower the morale of workers, which might possibly result in low productivity. In his reaction, Mr Prempeh admitted that payments for May had delayed for some days. "May salaries went on the 30th instead of 25th," he said.
He said, however, that barring any unforeseen technical hitches, salaries for June would be paid by the 24th.
The Controller and Accountant General said the Government was concerned about the situation and had reinitiated a stalled project to replace the IPPD with Oracle Payroll system to be funded by the British Department for International Development (DFID).
He said a previous project to replace the system elapsed in 2000, hence its reactivation by the Government adding that last year, DFID gave an indication of its preparedness to provide funding towards its completion. Mr Prempeh reiterated that there had never been any problem with overtime payments to Controller Staff to enable them to do overtime in processing salaries and to perform other activities which by law, the Department was established to do and that all such overtime for last year were paid by the Ministry of Finance in April this year.
"We always have our overtime allowances of the previous year paid in the current year, provided we do not go beyond our budget ceiling and are also able to justify the payments," he explained.