Monday, January 26, 2015

Public Sector Workers Endorse New Electronic Salary Payment System

Public Sector Workers in the Northern Region have fully endorsed the newly introduced Electronic Salary Payment Voucher (E-SPV) system by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.

The new payment voucher is introduced to mainly fight frauds, eliminate ghost names on government payrolls and also fast track the issuing of salary vouchers to workers. 

The Controller and Accountant General’s Department previously found it extremely difficult to send salary vouchers to majority of the workers on time, which largely affected workers who had anomalies or irregularities/problems with their salaries to seek redress on time. 

At a training workshop held in Tamale on the implementation of the newly introduced Electronic Salary Payment Voucher system, all Heads of government agencies and departments and their accountants in the Northern Region fully embraced the system and commended the Controller and Accountant General for the initiative. 

The Electronic Salary Payment Voucher is an electronic version of the Manual Salary Payment Voucher which must be validated by heads of agencies and departments on real-time through the internet before salaries can be paid to workers by the Controller and Accountant General. Formerly, salaries were paid weeks or months before salary payment vouchers were sent to heads of Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Metropolitan, Municipals and District Assemblies for validation and feedbacks to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department for further action. 

The situation provided opportunities for wrong payment of salaries to some employees (upward or downward) and could not be corrected in time or at all. 

This policy is in line with the Financial Administration Regulation 2004 (LI 1802) Regulation 306 which requires heads of departments or a head of management unit to examine and certify the personnel emolument payment vouchers to ensure the accuracy of the payroll data. 

The Northern Regional Director of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, Daniel Quayson in a speech read for the Controller and Accountant General, Mrs. Grace Adzroe observed that the new system would save the country a lot of money and also avoid too much paper works before salaries are paid to workers. 

He said that with the new electronic payment system, certification of the payroll by heads of management units would be a pre-condition for payment of staff which means “No validation no pay”. 

“The E-SPV was introduced against the backdrop of concerns regarding the high wage bill of public servants and the commitment of government to inject sanity into the payroll system to minimize the payroll irregularities and unauthorized payments”, he said.

Mr. Quayson insisted that timelines would be set by the Controller and Accountant General Department for the certification of the payment vouchers every month, and any heads of department who failed to certify the payment vouchers before the deadline would automatically deny his staff salaries until the payment vouchers were validated.
The affected staff according to him therefore would receive their salaries the following month when the vouchers were validated. 

Controller & Accountant General
“Under such circumstances the Controller would have no option but to invoke sanctions in the Financial Administration Regulation for non-certification of Payment Vouchers. The sanctions may not be limited to non-certification of the payment vouchers before the deadlines but staff could also be surcharged where the non-certification has occasioned financial loss to the state”.

Meanwhile, a team of trainers are currently in the Northern Region to conduct a hands-on training for heads of departments and management units on the E-SPV system and the system is expected to be implemented in March 2015. 

The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna in a speech read for him by the District Chief Executive for Sagnarigu, Mohammed Alhassan Sorogudoo commended the Controller and Accountant General and her team of experts for the excellent initiative. 

According to him, the new payment system served as a major boost to the efforts of government in dealing with the age long issue of ghost names and cutting down on the huge wage bill.

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