‘No Salaries for March 2020 Without Biometric ID’

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Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr.

— President Weah sets up multi-agency task force to remove ghost names and vet new employments across Government

The Government of Liberia has issued administrative control measures intended to reduce growth in its wage bill, as well as to ensure efficiency in the allocation of the National Budget.

According to the Wage Bill Control Regulation endorsed by the Cabinet on March 9, 2020, all employments and promotions within the central government have been centralized through the Civil Service Agency and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, and are subject to the agreed establishment posts of the spending entities as well as the availability of budgetary allocation.

New employment or promotion of existing employees will have to be co-approved by the designated authorities of the CSA and MFDP.

Additionally, as part of the new administrative expenditure control measures, all new employments across Government shall be thoroughly vetted and duly authorized through the CSA and MFDP before placement on the wage bill. The regulation clarifies that these new employments will mainly focus on employments in social service sectors such as health and education, in addition to the security sector.

To sustain the removal of ghost employees, the Wage Bill Control Regulation emphasizes the reinforcement of biometric enrollment of all employees across the central government and requiring National Identification Numbers (NIN) for all employees of the Government of Liberia before the end of March 2020.

The Regulation warns that employees failing to meet the end of March 2020 deadline will not receive their salaries beginning the month of March until their respective agencies submit their national biometric identification cards to the Inter-Agency Wage Bill Harmonization Team.

The Administrative Wage Bill control Regulation has also mandated the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Civil Service Agency, through the Interagency Wage Harmonization Team, to complete the harmonization and standardization of pay across all State-Owned Enterprises (SoEs), consistent with the National Standardization Act of 2019 before the end of June 2020. All State-Owned Enterprises (SoEs) are required to adhere to the measures contained in the regulation to support the Government’s efforts to efficiently manage the country’s scarce public resources.

The National Payroll Ghost Removal Taskforce, which has been constituted by President George M. Weah, comprises four agencies of government: The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Internal Audit Agency, the Civil Service Agency, and the National Identification Registry.

The Taskforce will be chaired by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning through the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center (LIMPAC), the research and policy think tank within the MFDP that is currently leading the on-going wage harmonization and standardization exercise.  LIMPAC shall supervise the daily activities of the Taskforce as well as forge persistent collaboration with other members and the spending entities of interest to identify and immediately remove or blocked ghost employees from the government payroll.

As Co-Chair of the taskforce, the Internal Audit Agency is mandated to institute physical audits of payrolls for entities on interest and provide findings to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning through LIMPAC and the Civil Service Agency for immediate actions.

The Taskforce will institute head-counts of all government employees at various spending entities across Liberia, and Foreign Missions outside of Liberia. The headcount will focus on employees who have been assigned pay grade and are currently enlisted on the automated payroll system of the Government of Liberia.  The ghost removal taskforce is given a six-month mandate beginning March 2020 to comprehensively and sustainably clear the public sector wage bill of ghost employees.

12 COMMENTS

  1. You don’t set a timing on such operation, Mr. Minister. There will still be ghosts names on the payroll come April.
    If you want to clean payroll, you should know how to proceed.
    There will be physical head counts of one individual in 2 or 3 different agencies, believe me. I have seen and done it before.

    The ANC will bring better methods on board, just finish your panky hanky game and get ready to park in 2023.

  2. There is a very easy way to remove ghost names from the govt payroll; just publish the payroll list on the internet and provide an email address and or phone number where people can call to report the ghost names. It is the very same co-workers who can identify if a name is a ghost or not. Remember to announce to the public the website where the list is posted.

    • Beware of breach of privacy rights when publishing people’s personal data. Do you know which hands those data will land and other pervasive impacts it may cause?

      ANC has better solutions for all these petty problems that can be taken care of within 2 weeks. Liberia is a small country. Think about us this October and in 2023!

  3. To begin with, building all these inter-agencies to combat the effects of payroll padding is just another attempt at creating more inefficiency in government, promoting a partisan based hiring and promoting process, and massively bloating the budget.

    I called this the layering process, where layers of bureaus are formed to perform a certain task that would have otherwise been performed in a more efficient and effective way by few people in a more leaner and cost effective manner.

    The logic behind the so-called ghost names removal scheme is bare. This scheme is not meant to curtail fraud. Instead, its objective is to put more unqualified CDC-partisans in critical government positions thereby retaining their votes. In other words, it is a Weah’s partisans’ recruitment tool.

    The senatorial elections are right around the corner, and one way that Weah can raise his level of support is to exhaust the revenues by carrying on these kinds of sleazy exercises. Weah is aware that numbers speak the loudest during election times. And so if he can move hell and heaven against the citizenry to claim the most senatorial votes during this upcoming election, he will.

  4. If the solutions are there just tell them, if they failed to follow it we will see. If you keep it without telling them we will say you are selfish. Help save the country and we’ll help you lead the country.

  5. After flooding the wage bill, you now realized the need to correct your mistake?! BS! Why only social services sector?

    Tweah and Del-Francis will face the consequences of their so-called harmonization. Incompetence is the watch word.

  6. I read everyone comments and just smile. I am so glad that the Minister and his team are on the right track. You guys need to understand that the setup system is automated, with all these keys agencies pulling out data with full collaboration to yield the best results. And with the IAA envolved, I believe the team is set for tangible action we all long have. Let safe all the politics about who can better get the job done, and reason well to help the process.
    To you and your team Mr. Minister, let me share what I’ve lived with all these years in my professional strives towards excellence, which someone once said, and I quote ” Criticism is a complement when you know you are doing the right thing.” Implement well as plan. The public will see the result in times.. God Bless Liberia and you all.

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