Four thousand and twenty-nine names of teachers on the government payroll since October 2015 have been identified as belonging to “ghosts”.
The revelation resulted from the implementation of an agreement reached between the three teacher unions and government institutions to police pay administration in the public sector.
At a press conference on October 18, 2015, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) committed to policing the pay administration process “to ensure that no teacher’s name appeared as a ‘ghost’ on the payment vouchers.”
Also committed to collaborate in the process were the Ghana Education Service, the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD), the Audit Service and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).
The commitment resulted in the validation of a first batch of 15,000 data that found 4,029 unidentified names.
The Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Mr George Smith-Graham, told the Daily Graphic that as of the last count, a few teachers had come forward with the appropriate documentation to identify themselves.
Within the teacher unions, the unidentified names had been publicised to help spread information to validate the identities.
Mr Smith-Graham said the Audit Service would furnish the FWSC with the exact numbers yet to be identified, with their full names and staff identification numbers for publication in the dailies.
The unidentified names would then be subsequently expunged from the payroll.
“At the moment the audit teams are validating about 40,000 data sets of teachers”, Mr Smith-Graham said.
He said the initial agreement was to finish the whole exercise before payment of the arrears.
However, the partners in the exercise recently agreed that payments should be made as soon as a set of validation was completed, and the teachers were appropriately identified.
He said in line with that teachers validated and cleared would be paid their arrears by June this year.
Mr Smith-Graham pointed out that the need for validation was in relation to arrears which covered more than three months, and not salaries, hence the government had thought it prudent to conduct the exercise.
He said currently, the audit teams were dealing with about 29,000 data sets, and that about 13,000 had been cleared also for payment to be made.
Mr Smith-Graham said a full report after the exercise would inform pay administrators on the next step in order to prevent ghost names on the payroll.
However, he said, he would recommend sanctions against officials who reneged on their duties, resulting in the ocurence of ghost names roll.