This follows a revelation by the 2016 Auditor-General’s report that some GHC3, 917.78 was transferred into the department’s Suspense Account for unclaimed salaries and pensions at the Amuga Rural Bank in Adidome.
The report further indicated that, no evidence was provided to support the transfer and argued that the delays and non-monitoring of such unclaimed salaries in the Suspense Account may deny the government access to such monies to be used on other developmental activities.
But arguing their case, the Controller and Accountant General, Mr. Eugene Asante Ofosuhene said unlike salaries to deceased personnel which can be checked, pensions paid to former workers are impossible to track, hence the continuous transfer of fund to the suspense account when it remains unclaimed.
According to him, the department will soon migrate from the manual way of processing information to an automated means, which will help block such loopholes and identify deceased recipients.
“We currently do not have a way of knowing whether someone is dead or not. So when pensions are paid, we wait for a while and when the money is not claimed then we transfer it to our suspense account which has been created for that. We also recently embark on a verification exercise in all the 10 regions where we had our people station to verify all pension accounts. We run adverts and at the end of the day a total of about twenty-three thousand pensioners were deleted from our system because they failed to come and verify the account. Some later came that they were not dead and there included judges and others but we asked them to go through the normal registration again.
What we are trying to do is to sensitize our account so we don’t pay money to dead people. We have also started moving from the manual way soon everything will go digital and then we can better track people.”
Mr. Asante Ofosuhene was speaking at the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee sitting by parliament.
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