Ghanaian News

Payroll monitoring exercise to cover health sector — FWSC

The payroll monitoring exercise is to be extended to the corridors of public health institutions in the country this year.

The exercise is intended to check leakages in the public sector wage bill, and correct abnormalities in workload and salary.

“This year, the focus would be on the health sector. Hopefully the team will be on the field by first week in February,” the Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Benjamin Arthur, told the Daily Graphic in Accra.

On the progress of the exercise which started in April last year, Mr Arthur said it focused on the Local Government Service in the Western, Greater Accra, Central, Volta and Oti regions.

The other regions would be covered later.

Preliminary investigations
An initial analysis of the exercise in 17 institutions last year provided evidence of decline in their wage bills.

Mr Arthur said that the wage bill reduced by an average of 1.2 per cent from April to August 2023 during the exercise, translating into an equivalent of about GH¢36,108,000.

The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) wage bill for 707,000 employees on the single spine had also witnessed a one and a six per cent reduction month over month, respectively, for July and August, resulting in savings of about GH¢178,360.000 and about GH¢ 18,448,000 for the country.

Mr Arthur commended the CAGD for its support which he said had made the exercise a success, and said the initiative to link the Ghana Card to the payroll was also helping to clean the books.

He, however, said that while the wage bill was dropping, the number of employees was going up, adding “this tells us that if we continue the payroll monitoring exercise, we would be able to clean and save the country a lot of money”.

Productivity
Mr Arthur further said that the exercise was also helping to improve productivity.

“It is letting people who were not reporting to work now come to work because they are aware the commission would be coming around to check attendance for purposes of head count,” he explained.

He said the commission had also introduced a programme to link pay to productivity.

In line with that, the CEO said last year, his outfit sensitised staff of 29 institutions, and that this year, “we want to do a minimum of 40 institutions”.

Mr Arthur said it was only when staff were able to understand the performance appraisal system that they would be able to help set targets for institutions and individuals to enable them to measure their performance.

Information from the performance assessment, he said, would expose challenges such as staff not being provided with assignments and not having the right skills or the right budget to execute their job, to enable his outfit to address those challenges and make the public service more productive.

For instance, Mr Arthur said, the country should get to a point where payslips were linked to input of employees to see if they matched their rewards.

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