The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has issued a directive stating that starting from February 2024, salaries of public sector workers without Ghana Card numbers will be withheld.
The primary objective of this directive is to eliminate ghost names from the government’s payroll, a persistent challenge faced by successive administrations.
In an effort to facilitate compliance, the CAGD has engaged in discussions with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to organize a special registration exercise for those who do not possess a Ghana Card.
The meeting between CAGD and NIA, held on October 11, 2023, focused on establishing timelines for the registration initiative.
A critical advisory has been issued by the CAGD to its staff and members, emphasizing the need to register for Ghana Cards at any of the 292 NIA offices across the country. The CAGD is determined to ensure compliance, particularly among government employees.
The Ghana Card, issued by the NIA to citizens, residents, legal foreign residents, and permanent foreign residents, serves as a crucial document for establishing identity, citizenship, and residence. The card, adopting the ID1 format and incorporating biometric features, is a key component of the government’s effort to enhance data accuracy.
The Government Waste Report 2022, released by the Institute of Liberty and Policy Innovation, highlights a pressing issue of financial loss in Ghana attributed to ghost names on the government’s payroll. The report estimates an annual loss of approximately GH¢100 million due to payroll fraud. Notably, a historical pattern is identified, with nationwide employee audits conducted during government bailouts or restructuring efforts since 2011.
This revelation underscores the urgency of addressing payroll fraud and implementing robust measures to ensure financial integrity within government operations.