Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta says public sector workers who are not biometrically registered on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) will be removed from the government payroll.
He said the size of the public sector wage bill, which accounts for a significant proportion of domestic revenue is a major concern for government.
Speaking at his first budget presentation in Parliament, the Minister said it is one of the ‘Big-Three’ budget line items that continue to narrow government’s choices in pursuing higher economic growth and development programmes.
In a bid to reduce this, Mr Ofori-Atta said “the SSNIT database will be used as a filter for the payment of public sector workers.
In 2014, the then deputy minister of finance, Mona Quartey announced that the government was, as a result of the introduction, reduced the wage bill by 13 percent as it had cleared hundreds of non-existing workers from the payroll.
Recruitment and Promotion Related Arrears
Mr Ofori-Atta while addressing the issues of recruitments and promotions lamented that despite the introduction of the Public Services Commission policy, delays in the processing of recruitments and promotions are still rampant.
These delays, he said, create frustrations for new recruits and serve as demotivation for serving officers due for promotion.
“Further, these delays lead to unexpected accumulation of arrears that hurt the integrity of our fiscal planning,” he said.
He indicated that in order to control the wage bill, and avoid compensation arrears that have not been provided for in our budgets, government will from 2017 strictly enforce the policy and guidelines on the effective dates of promotions and recruitments within the Public Services.
However, “substantive effective dates of recruitments and promotions shall not be backdated without the explicit permission of the Minister for Finance in writing,” he said.
“Starting in April, all workers who have not been biometrically registered with SSNIT will be taken off Government payroll,” he continued.
The phenomenon of ‘ghost names’ in the public sector has been an albatross around past governments neck.
During the tenure of the Mahama-led administration, it instituted the biometric registration to system remove ‘ghost names’ from the public payroll.