As part of efforts to permanently get rid of ghost names on the government pay roll, the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) has insisted on the need for all government employees to obtain a Ghana Card.
The CAGD has explained that it cannot withdraw the directive issued earlier this week and has urged all employees to register and get the Ghana Card as a form of national identification before the deadline.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Thursday [October 14, 2021], the Head of Public Relations at CAGD, Mr Cephas Narh Dosso reaffirmed the department's directive saying it was the best way to address challenges in its payroll system.
We cannot withdraw the directive asking public sector employees to acquire a national identification card by December 1, 2021 or forfeit their salaries.
There have been agitations by a section of government workers and unions since the department issued the directive on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 with some asking the Controller and Accountant-General to reconsider the directive and withdraw it completely or have the deadline extended.
But Mr Dosso explained that Section 8(4) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), mandated the CAGD to, among other functions, receive, disburse and provide secured custody for public funds.
He said as a department, which dealt with about 500,000 government workers, it was necessary that it put in measures to ensure the integrity of the payroll at all times.
"We have a payroll that is incumbent by about 500,000 government employees nationwide and as a department, over the years, the CAGD have been instituting measures that will ensure the integrity of the payroll is maintained at all times," Mr Dosoo explained.
He rather urged the various public institutions and unions to educate and urge their members to acquire the cards before the deadline.
Mr Dosoo said: "We appreciate the concerns by our unions because they are our major stakeholders but, however, what we will think we should be considering now is that we need to urge our colleague workers to avail themselves and go through the registration process. For now, the deadline is not today and so the best thing to do is to avail ourselves.”
"When we get to the deadline we will review the data and I am sure the right decisions will be taken by the right authorities," he added.
The CAGD, in a statement issued on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 warned that government workers without Ghana Cards would not be paid from December 1, 2021.
The move, it said, formed part of the government’s efforts to deliver a speedy, secured, and verified payroll service to employees and pensioners while reducing the risk of undeserving payments or claims.
Meanwhile, the National Identification Authority, early this month, disclosed that more than 15 million citizens had registered for the Ghana Card.
However, out of the number, only 12 million had been issued with their cards, adding that provisions were being made for the three million Ghanaians yet to receive their cards to get them.