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Payroll Scare: Ghost Workers Milk Zimbabwe Govt

The Auditor-General’s Office has confirmed 12 500 people are providing services to government chewing about $85 million annually yet they a...

The Auditor-General’s Office has confirmed 12 500 people are providing services to government chewing about $85 million annually yet they are not on its payroll. 

In her audit report, Mrs Mildred Chiri also said that about 3 500 employees on the Government payroll were unaccounted for yet were drawing annual salaries worth about $21 million.

She said this was highly suspicious.

“Twelve thousand three hundred and ninety two (12 392) persons found to be rendering services and not appearing on the payroll are a committed expenditure translating to $81 147 840 per annum,” reads the report.
Ghost Workers Haunt Zimbabwean Government 

“It has been observed that 96 percent (11 813) of these members are from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. “This has the effect of distorting the payroll leaving the system open to abuse in the form of members being allowed to provide services without authority.

“Thereafter, they will request payment for services rendered since there is a legal obligation for the State to pay for services provided, which in essence, amounts to committed expenditure on behalf of Government.”

The AG said the Public Service Commission had set out procedures and timelines for appointment documents to be processed and submitted to the Salary Service Bureau (SSB) as well as mechanisms to flush out irregular appointments.

Mrs Chiri said the PSC would identify and charge officials who failed to follow these rules.

“Three thousand three hundred and seven (3 307) members on the payroll were unaccounted for during the head count drawing a salary of $1 761 200 per month translating to $21 134 400 per annum (highly suspect members).

“Since 3 307 members on payroll could not be accounted for, the potential prejudice to the State translates to $21 134 400 per annum. There is a high risk that Government is paying members who are not rendering services.

“The above figure can actually cater for a number of ministries’ employment costs for a whole year.

“In view of the foregoing observation, it is therefore necessary to cease salaries and allowances of the affected members with effect from 1 May 2015. 

"The fact that 3 307 members on the payroll could not be accounted for also indicates a system failure in terms of the pay sheet acquittals by heads of offices, human resources officers and heads of departments in line ministries,” said Mrs Chiri.

To that end, the AG came up with recommendations to plug the loopholes, among them ceasing and recovering payments made to people who are not on the Government payroll which would save about $21 million per annum.

“The commission (PSC) should identify and charge members who failed to process and submit appointment documents within the set timelines.

“The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should expedite the promulgation of the Statutory Instrument so that human resources directors are accountable to the Public Service Commission.

“The head of Ministry for Primary and Secondary Education should put in place measures to ensure that the human resource supervisory mechanisms are effectively functional,” said Mrs Chiri. - The Herald 

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