22 November 2012

Liberia: Payroll Bloated At GAC

The General Auditing Commission (GAC) has said that over 20 percent of the institution's payroll is bloated with ghosts, but that will be known after cleanup. Auditor General Robert Kilby told the media in Monrovia that this will need a proper and timely clean-up exercise.

"Government is making use of its revenues in the right way, but over 20 percent of its payroll is loaded with ghost names, and that needs proper cleaning-up," Kilby said. He indicated that some of the ghosts could be friends or relatives who may have worked and left the Commission, but continue to remain on the payroll.

On the restructuring of the Commission, Kilby said the 20 departments he inherited have been realigned into half, noting that this would restore the credibility of the Commission.

"We will carry out information technology (IT) auditing which is done nowadays around the world for the betterment of the government and its people," the AG noted.

However, Kilby reassured auditors of the GAC that because the Commission was audit-driven, auditors will well be taken care of (better paid) so as to do good work.

"Auditors will be well pay more than the administrative staff as it was in the past, and this is intended to encourage many employees to shift to audit service so as to be trained better," Kilby lamented.

He told employees of the GAC Wednesday during a mass meeting in Monrovia that he could not run the GAC with 137 in administration and 158 in audit service when the institution is 100 percent audit-centered.

Moreover, he expressed complete disappointment following a comprehensive review of the files of both current and past employees, noting that drivers, janitors and security personnel earned more salaries than auditors when the Commission is a Supreme Audit Institution (SAI).

On the contrary, Kilby expressed shock that audit trainees (cadets) at the Commission who obtained master degrees were earning far less than drivers, janitors and security.

Kilbt assured that it should not be a surprise that Audit Trainees with master's degrees in Accounting, making less could become managers as part of the realignment process at the Commission.

"For me, I believe in the merit system, which is the only way that our country will move forward, and those were some of the reasons we have to carry out redundancy," he noted.

On increment in salary, he said GAC is in line because it is a part of the government. Since early November, Kilby has been "under fire" as a result of public sentiments for the recent redundancy exercise affecting 60 employees and 196 others pending of the GAC's 457 workforce.

For 2-days, anti and pro-Robert Kilby protests stalled work at the Commission barricaded by state security as precautionary measures, writes TKS.

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