The Trades Union Congress, TUC has kicked against government decision to hire the services of a private firm to clean up the public payroll system in Ghana.
According to the Director of Research at the TUC, Dr Kwaben Nyarko Otoo “There are challenges with the public administration of the payroll system but we don’t think the best idea will be for a private firm to take over its management.”
The TUC suggest that, there can be an establishment of an intermediary unit from the Controller and Accountant Generals Department or Ministry of Finance to handle the cleaning of the system whiles the Controller General takes care of the payment procedure rather than a private firm.
“The challenge with the payroll system is partly because the Controller and Accountant General has little or no competence in payroll management but there are private institutions that are also failing so where lies the notion that a private firm can better manage the payroll?” he asked.
Dr Otoo made the disclosure in an interview on the sidelines of an Organized Labour post-budget policy forum with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Accra.
Government of Ghana in the mid-year budget statement mentioned that it is considering outsourcing the national payroll system to a private company to ensure effective management of the system.
This, the Finance Ministry said is to reduce the wage bill which as at 2017 stood at 45 percent of total tax revenue.
However, Dr. Nyarko Otoo said privatizing the payroll system is not the solution to Ghana’s high wage bill.
“This idea that every problem in the public sector can be solved only by privatizing for us is neither here nor there. Controller and Accountant General has little competence to payroll administration and so a separate unit can be created within the Finance Ministry while the Controller and Accountant General focuses on the key role of paying public sector workers,” Dr. Nyarko Otoo noted.
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Meanwhile, in 2017, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stated that the country saved an amount of GHC443 million following Finance Ministry’s suspension of salary payment to some 26,589 workers in April, 2017.
He said the comprehensive payroll audit conducted by the Ministry within the last two months has purged the system of ghost names and saved the nation some money.