The Controller and Accountant-General has rejected claims that the government is working to privatize the public sector payroll system.

Speaking to JoyBusiness, Kwasi Kwaning Bosompem said: “well, I read about it…no it’s not happening and it is not on the table.”

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta earlier indicated that government would be embarking on a massive payroll clean-up programme to get rid of all ‘ghost names’ in the system and correct irregularities on the payroll.

This according to Mr Ofori-Atta is expected to help the government save some funds and block loopholes in the revenue mobilization exercise.

“Government is currently evaluating options to outsource the payroll processing for its employees. Mr Speaker, outsourcing government payroll is aimed at addressing the public sector wage bill and its crowding-out effect on expenditure,” Mr Ofori-Atta said in the 2019 budget statement to parliament.

The government’s proposal to privatise its payroll so that it can manage the system more efficiently to deal with the problem of ‘ghost names’ had been resisted strongly by the stakeholders especially the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

TUC kicked against the plan

The Trades Union Congress, (TUC) earlier kicked against moves by the government to hire the services of a private firm to clean up the public payroll system in Ghana.

Director of Research at the TUC, Dr Kwaben Nyarko Otoo said, “There are challenges with the public administration of the payroll system but we don’t think the best idea will be for a private firm to take over its management.”

He said, there can be an establishment of an intermediary unit from the Controller and Accountant Generals Department or Ministry of Finance to handle the cleaning of the system whiles the Controller General takes care of the payment procedure rather than a private firm.

“The challenge with the payroll system is partly because the Controller and Accountant General has little or no competence in payroll management but there are private institutions that are also failing so where lies the notion that a private firm can better manage the payroll?” he asked.

The wage bill has been one of the government’s biggest challenges when it comes to prudently manage the expenditure.