THE PAST weeks have witnessed allegation of some functionaries of the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration taking double salary as Members of Parliament (MPs) and Ministers of State.
Per the law, appointees of government who are MPs are enjoined to opt for either the salary of a legislature or as a minister. But, there are allegations of some NDC MPs withdrawing double salary under former President John Dramani Mahama.
The Parliamentary Service Board pays the salary of the MPs, while the Controller and Accountant Generals Department pays those of ministers.
This, in the view of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), may be partly responsible for the anomaly.
The CAGD has, thus, suggested that integrating the Parliamentary Service onto their payroll would help address these anomalies.
According to Elizabeth Osei, Head of Payroll at the Department, until 2017, the CAGD paid the salaries of MPs who also doubled as Ministers, while the Parliamentary Service only handled the payment of persons who solely served as legislators.
She said the Parliamentary Service had since taken over the payment of salaries of all MPs, whether they served as Ministers or not.
Speaking to Citi News‘ Kojo Agyemang, she said “what I will recommend is what we are doing currently. Anybody who is an MP, whether Minister or not, is paid at the Parliamentary Service. We want a uniform platform for paying all of them so that if there’s any such duplication it can easily be corrected. We only pay Ministers who are not MPs.
“We think that if the Parliamentary Service is on our payroll, then there’s a uniform platform and any anomalies can be addressed and that is on the drawing board. All other institutions that previously lifted their funds in bulk to pay, we’ve brought them onto our payroll so we’ll look at doing same for the Parliamentary Service. We think that if we are paying them here, there’s consistency so any anomalies will easily be unearthed.”
The DAILY HERITAGE shares the same view and thinks moving forward, the CAGD taking over is the surest way to prevent such thievery and looting of state coffers.