A significant portion of Liberia’s meager budget envelope is deployed to paying wages of public sector employees. And to ensure those receiving public funds are legitimate, the government of Liberia through the Civil Service Agency (CSA) and the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center LIMPAC is beginning a national payroll cleaning exercise across all Ministries, Agencies, and Public Corporations.
The process which commences with verifying the counties payroll of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was approved by the Cabinet and is expected to nip in the bud, the challenge of eradicating ghost workers on the government’s payroll.
In an interview, the Acting Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) James Thompson said the exercise, which is targeted at all public sector employees will not only create equity but it ensures that those receiving pay are real people. “Payroll verification is an exercise we just started which follows the harmonization exercise which intends to create equity in the system. The verification exercise will enable us know that those we are carrying are the real people”, he said.
“We just intentionally began an exercise, approved by the cabinet for us to undertake a national payroll cleaning. Institution by institution, we will go throughout the country validating that those who are showing up on the government payroll are the appropriate people”, he mentioned.
At the inception of the Weah-led administration, he indicated everyone including those receiving only discretional allowances at the various Ministries and Agencies was absorbed. “And the next step is to clean the payroll. We are trying to make sure finally we get a handle on ghost workers which have been an aged old problem from government to government”, he said.
He touted “for the last five days, we have been validating the county payroll of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and we are trying to deal with that first before we start the exercise across the country. We want to make sure what the Ministry of Internal Affairs represents is the same as what the county has. We are doing sorting between the two”.
“We have sent a mandate which is soon to take effect that says anyone including appointed officials must have a national ID number or He or She will not get pay. We are using the National ID number as a key identity for all civil servants because it has a biometric identification. It ensures that no employee on the government payroll can be duplicated”, he said.