The Auditor General Daniel Yaw Domelevo said the existence of ghost names on the government payroll is a major threat to the anti-corruption campaign in the public sector.
In an interview with Accra-based Class FM, he said the existence of ghost names on the government payroll does a great disservice to the coffers of the country.
“Another area of leakage [in the public sector] is the payroll. You hear of it every time, you hear of ghost names. How on earth can you say you are in charge of a hospital or in charge of a school and you don’t know that your teacher is no more coming to school?” he asked.
“So if a headmaster, for instance, or a principal of a secondary school or for that matter a university vice chancellor or whatever departmental head keeps approving or certifying the payment voucher while that voucher has got one, two, three, or four names who do not belong to the institution where the payment is being made or they don’t belong to his unit or they’ve left and he continuously signs, what do you think should happen to such a person? The financial administration regulation is very clear on that. It says that if it is identified, we will surcharge you and that is exactly what we are going to do. We will surcharge and then the headmaster will go and look for the ghost.”
He added that procurement is also one of the major means through which public servants syphon state funds.
According to him, during auditing, the staff of the Audit Service often identify a lot of leakages in the public sector through the procurement process.
“The main area of leakage is procurement. Procurement is a very terrible area.”
Domelevo called for public officials to desist from such acts since they will be dealt with when found guilty of stealing public funds.