The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has officially launched an investigation into the government’s payroll system, as revealed in its half-year report made public on December 29, 2023. The primary objective of this assessment and investigation is to identify and eliminate non-existent names from the payroll, along with the recovery of wrongful payments.
This move by the OSP underscores a commitment to ensuring the integrity and efficiency of the government’s financial systems. By scrutinizing the payroll, the OSP aims to rectify any inaccuracies, such as ghost workers or erroneous payments, that may have crept into the system.
The OSP, in issuing this caution, emphasizes a zero-tolerance approach towards any individuals found to be complicit in committing offenses related to the payroll.
“The Office has commenced a corruption risk assessment and investigation into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of the Government of Ghana payroll administration. The assessment and investigation are especially aimed at isolating and removing non-existent names, recovering wrongful payments, and prosecuting persons suspected to be culpable for any offense(s).”
The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) underscored its collaboration with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to carry out the investigation.
“A joint project team of selected staff of the two institutions has been formed for this purpose,” OSP stated in its report.
As per the OSP, the investigation and evaluation encompass all banks and personnel included in the government payroll.
“The exercise is being carried out in two phases. Phase I covers the Ghana Education Service and the health institutions. Phase II covers all other Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.”
The Office mentioned that it is currently examining an additional one hundred and fifty-two (152) cases at different stages of assessment.
“These would be publicised if the Special Prosecutor determines that they are within the mandate of the Office and that they should be moved past the preliminary investigation stage. This is a policy intended to protect the privacy of individuals and the business operations of institutions and companies and to avoid unnecessary stigmatisation.”