An internal audit conducted by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has uncovered a huge payroll fraud which has cost the country about GH¢50 million.
The amount, according to the findings of the report, is an aggregation of unearned allowances paid to unposted beneficiaries, funds for official use which were paid into personal accounts, as well as procurements without adherence to due process.
The acting Chief Executive of the YEA, Justine Kodua Frimpong, who made the revelations at a press conference, said some 2,716 beneficiaries did not have appointment letters, while 9,442 beneficiaries were above the age required.
Another group of 4,681 beneficiaries, also vacated their post, while 14,443 beneficiaries were simply non-existent. Some 11,512 beneficiaries were also without the assumption of duty letters.
Earlier this year, YEA suspended the payment of allowances to over 60,000 beneficiaries on suspicion of discrepancies in the report handed to it by the managers under the previous administration.
The full-scale audit revealed that, many people who did not deserve to receive money from the Agency were doing so fraudulently. So far, the Agency has deleted some 16,839 names from the payroll.
Justine Kodua Frimpong, said the country has been saved some GH¢20 million by deleting the names of illegitimate beneficiaries. He noted that, the Agency is still deliberating on the fate of the thousands of beneficiaries who were receiving monies without having an assumption of duty letters. “A total of 16,839 beneficiaries have been deleted from the payroll, and this has saved the taxpayer as much as twenty million, two hundred and six thousand, eight hundred cedis. However, in respect of the last two (ie. Beneficiaries without assumption of duty letters and non-existing beneficiaries,) management has given itself a month, to address issues regarding their status.”
He added that, further investigation will be conducted into the matter to ensure that persons who are found guilty in the fraudulent activity will be dealt with according to law.
“As part of the physical verification exercise conducted by management, we observed that some district directors connived with some beneficiaries to partake in the verification exercise knowing very well that they have vacated post.
I can assure all of you that further investigations will be conducted and those found culpable will be dealt with within the remit of the law.” Mr. Kodua Frimpong said in spite of the challenges, it is collaborating with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to tighten its internal control mechanisms by introducing a pre-monthly validation policy before the issuance of payment.