Ministry of Finance Undertakes Biometric Registration of GNA Staff

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in collaboration with the Controller and Accountant General�s Department, on Wednesday started the Biometric Registration of active staff of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra. The two-day registration exercise which covers only staff in the Greater Accra Region, formed part of the processes by government through the two institutions to rid the pay roll of �Ghost names,� and also create transparency in government's financial data. Information made available to the Ghana News Agency indicates that the Biometric Registration is geared towards the collation of an accurate data on public sector employees who are on the Controller and Accountant General�s Department (CAGD) pensioners� payroll. Mr Rex Annan, Administrative Manager of GNA, urged staff to patronise the exercise which aimed at compiling accurate statistics of all government employees. He pledged the Agency�s commitment towards the exercise and entreated all active staff to go for the registration to ensure that they were in good standing with MOFEP/CAGD. Mr Henry Adomako Oduro, Vice Chairman of the GNA branch of the Communication Workers Union of TUC, commended MOFEP/CAGD, saying the exercise would help to detect and correct anomalies with employees� data. �During my registration, it was detected that my Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) number did not tally with my name�, he explained, but added that the appropriate mechanism had been set in motion to rectify the anomaly once it had been detected. It would be recalled that in July last year, Dr Kwabena Duffour, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning announced government�s decision to embark on biometric registration of all workers on government payroll. The Finance Minister noted that public sector wage bill had been rising sharply over the past years in relation to Gross Domestic Product and expenditures, which could not be attributed to wage or salary increases. He pointed out that, one major contributing factor to the failure of past initiatives to remove �ghost names� had been the absence of adequate mechanisms to effectively identify, delete them and prevent their reappearance. He said government would use the electronic approach which entailed the capturing of biometric data of employees on the payroll, to rid the system of fraud and impersonation. Dr. Duffuor expressed confidence in this new approach in dealing with the phenomenon of ghost names, adding that the method had been proven to be successful in most countries that had been experiencing payroll fraud.