The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) doled out a whopping Ghc 492,143 on unearned staff salaries, the 2021 Auditor-General’s report has uncovered.
The figure comprises salaries paid out to workers placed on the wrong tier list in the organisation’s conditions of service structure or others who were paid despite failing to report to work after study leave.
The Auditor-General laid out several procedures for the state to use to recoup its lost revenue in the report.
The qualifications for direct entry into NADMO, as contained under Part IV, Section 2.1.1 & 2.1. 2 of their Condition of Service are:
a. GCE ‘O” Level, SSSCE, WASSCE, Stenographer Secretary or Equivalent Certificate from recognised Institution – Disaster Control Officer (DCO)
b. GCE ‘A’ Level, School Diploma, Level one (1) of CIM, General Agric. and post-secondary Teachers’ Certificate – Assistant Senior Disaster Control Officer (ASDCO).
c. Degree, Level two (2) of ACCA, CIMA, ICA or CIM – Senior Disaster Control Officer (SDCO).
d. Degree plus Professional Diploma or Master’s degree in relevant subjects – Principal Disaster Control Officer (PDCO).
e. Master’s Degree in relevant subjects or professional certificate (ACCA, ICA, CIMA) – Senior Principal Disaster Control Officer (SPDCO).
f. Degree plus Diploma in Public Administration (DPA), Master’s degree or PHD – Assistant Chief Disaster Control Officer (ACDCO).
However, between 2019 and 2021, NADMO recruited some staff who were “either without the required basic certificates/qualifications at all or were inappropriately placed at higher ranks which resulted in overpayment of salaries totaling GH¢492,143.88 to them”.
The A-G said: “This anomaly was also in contravention with Section 7 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) which requires that a Spending Officer of a covered entity shall ensure the regularity and proper use of money appropriated in that covered entity”.
“The anomaly constitutes loss of funds to the state, which could have been used to employ more people to reduce unemployment”, the A-G’s report said.
“We recommended that the amount of GH¢492,143.88 should be recovered from the affected staff and they should be placed on their right grades, commensurate with their qualifications. Further, we urged the Director-General to ensure that staff are placed on their appropriate positions in all future appointments”, the A-G said.
The report also found that contrary to Regulation 92 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378), management of the Ashanti regional office of NADMO validated the payment of “unearned salaries” totalling GH¢99,764.41 to five separated staff.
This, according to the report, occurred “largely due to management’s failure to follow-up on letters they wrote to the banks to embargo the salaries of the officers”.
The A-G’s report said: “The infraction has caused the state to lose an amount of GH¢99,764.41, which could have been used for other developments”.
“We recommended that the total unearned salaries of GH¢99,764.41 should be recovered (less Pay As You Earn (PAYE taxes)), from the respective separated staff and paid to government chest, failing which, the salary validators, Mr. Ed. Koduah Atakora and Mr. Bernard Asare Boateng, should be jointly held liable to refund the amount involved”.
The report also discovered that management of the Ashanti Mampong arm of NADMO could not explain why it paid one of its staff, Mr Orstin Amoabeng Edward, a total unearned salary of GH¢14,428.89 2475 even though he refused to return to work after his study leave to the Netherlands.
The report said despite his “failure to resume duty after a series of letters had been written to remind him, the management validated and approved the payment of unearned salary amounting to GH¢14,428.89 between the period May to November 2019”.
The A-G noted that the management “could not provide any reason for this infraction”.
“This constitutes loss of funds to the State”, the report said.
“We recommended to the Co-ordinator to recover the unearned salary of GH¢14,428.89 from Mr. Orstin Amoabeng Edward or his guarantors into the Controller and Accountant-General’s Salaries Suspense Accounts, failing which, the Co-ordinator should personally refund the amount involved”, the report said