CSA Cracks Down on Illegal Salaries and Sends Individuals for Salary Restitution

Dioda Wreh Seekey and Robert Serge Saint-Pé

The government of Liberia, through the Civil Service Agency (CSA), has taken decisive action against financial mismanagement by forwarding three government spending entities to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for the restitution of illegally received salaries. The move is part of the Agency’s agenda to sanitize government payroll and enhance accountability within the public sector.

Hon. Josiah F. Joekai, Jr., Director-General of the Civil Service Agency, in collaboration with the Solicitor-General of the Republic of Liberia and the Deputy Minister of Fiscal Affairs from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, announced at the regular Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) Press Briefing on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, that the Agency’s ongoing Employees Status Regularization Project (ESRP) and headcount audits across the 103 government spending entities are expected to save the government approximately one hundred seventeen thousand sixteen United States dollars ($117,016 USD) monthly and four hundred eighty-eight thousand eight hundred sixteen United States dollars ($488,816 USD) annually.

The audits revealed alleged financial leakages involving Human Resources Directors and Financial Comptrollers at the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), the Liberia Institute for Public Administration (LIPA), and the National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanisms (NCCRM). The CSA has identified individuals within these entities who must repay illegal salaries to the government and face prosecution where applicable.

In furtherance, Hon. Joekai stated that, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, 40 individuals were found to be receiving salaries totaling $18,539 USD monthly without actually working. Additionally, 81 employees have been suspended without pay for missing eight working days, saving the government $36,881 USD for one month.

Similarly, at Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), 28 employees were dismissed for absenteeism of 14 to 20 working days, resulting in monthly savings of $17,597 USD. Hon. Joekai pointed out that after conducting the headcount and thorough verification at the National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanism (NCCRM), 12 individuals were removed from the payroll for failing to provide evidence of their employment with the entity from October to December of last year.

Hon. Joekai emphasized the importance of forging partnerships with relevant government institutions whose services are relevant to tracking discrepancies and unearthing the loopholes of personnel at various entities. In furtherance, he highlighted the implementation of a dashboard system that provides real-time insights and analytics on employees for all government spending entities, aiding heads of spending entities in monitoring their staff effectively and providing real-time insights and analytics on employees under their purview.

The CSA has completed the ESRP and headcounts at 25 government entities, with four more in progress. Hon. Joekai assured the public through the press that President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., is in full support of this national initiative and is committed to providing the necessary resources for the CSA and the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to carry out their audits efficiently.

A central government human resources management entity, the Civil Service Agency, is now led by a team of transformational leaders headed by Hon. Josiah F. Joekai, Jr. Since assuming stewardship, this team has been aligning the workings of the civil service with the core values of accountability, transparency, and meritocracy, starting with the government’s payroll, which has long been plagued by corrupt practices.

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