Ghost Pensioner Receives GH¢18,000

A member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament and Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, Richard Quashigah, yesterday revealed at a public hearing  of the committee that his dead father who was a pensioner was wrongfully paid GH¢18,000 by the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) because of system failure.

He indicated that his father died in January 2012 and that as a good citizen, he (Quashigah) prompted the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department about the wrongful payment but nothing was done to rectify it until December last year, by which time an amount of GH¢18,000 had been paid into the account of his dead father at the Teshie branch of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).

“If I were to be an unpatriotic citizen, I would not have even informed the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department and would be withdrawing that money for my private use,” he said.

The honourable member of the committee made the revelation when officials of the Finance Ministry and the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department, led by the Controller and Accountant-General, Grace Adzroe, appeared before the committee yesterday to defend the 2012 Auditor-General’s report on public accounts of Ghana as endorsed by Parliament.

He said he was particularly worried about the ineffective mechanism to check whether pensioners and government workers who had passed on were still being paid their pensions and salaries at the detriment of the nation.

“There are many pensioners like my father who have passed on to glory but are still being paid their pensions because their relatives have not informed the Accountant-General’s Department about such demise and may be benefitting from it,” he said.

According to the Keta MP, the actual payroll may also have such shortfalls where ghost workers also receive salaries, adding that the system ought to be urgently sanitised to save money for the government.

The Controller and Accountant-General, in her response, said her outfit had started a biometric registration of all workers and pensioners, which is called the biometric data registration system, to help eliminate such anomalies.

According to her, only people captured under the biometric data registration system are being paid salaries and pensions.

She however said that the new system has also created a little problem for some government workers who were not able to register, as a result of which their salaries do not hit their accounts.

She stressed that because of that new measures would have to be put in place for those not captured under the biometric data system to be paid their salaries.