Monrovia — Liberia's grip on loopholes in the public sector payroll is proving cumbersome - thanks to the geniuses of payroll paddlers. And so, the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center (LIMPAC) and the Civil Service Agency (CSA) have concluded a seminar that begins the validation of payroll for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), especially local government structures.
LIMPAC, a research Think Tank of the Government of Liberia, chaired by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning assembled local government officials and payroll analyst from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. "The training brings together county officials and an Analyst from MIA which accounts for the third largest agency of government with the most amounts of employees," Del-Francis Wreh, Executive Director of LIMPAC explained.
He said the training brought everyone to the table including Superintendents, MIA, CSA, and MFDP so as to look at the payroll of each county. The total manpower strength of MIA is around 5300 and the Process also provides maximum education to the county officials about the ongoing pay reform that is currently being implemented.
The verification training is said to be targeting the Ministry of Internal Affairs especially the local government payroll as part of efforts to efficiently and collaboratively clean the payroll of all government ministries and agencies. "Additional action the government intends to take to clean the payroll is the Taskforce on Ghost Removal setup by the Cabinet. And the local government payroll is a critical aspect of that exercise along with others who the taskforce will be visiting to do headcount of employees", he said.
He said "the last three days, we have completed cleaning 10 counties correcting 80 percent of the problems on the payroll. We will work with the local authority to ensure we have an efficient payroll that shows value for money. For the next step, there is going to be periodic reconciliation of the local government payroll".
For James Thompson, Acting Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA), this is all part of efforts to get a handle on ghosts and to end payroll paddling across ministries and agencies. "After this exercise, we would have trimmed the wage size of the government. Verification to me shows those we are carrying are the appropriate staff of the Agency of government".
He said "we are trying to make sure we finally get a handle on ghost workers. We are bringing the county officials and central administration to know who the real people are. We want to make sure the government is getting value for money spent on wages.