Allegations that some former government appointees took double salaries as MP-ministers in the erstwhile John Mahama government may be true after all.
Joy News checks indicate that some of the implicated officials offered separate accounts to Parliament and the Accountant General to be paid salaries as MPs and ministers at the same time.
If that information is accurate and per the Prof Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh presidential emoluments committee report, some of the officials took not less than 30,000 cedis a month from 2013 to 2016.
The committee set up by ex-president John Mahama indicated that Cabinet Minister-MPs were entitled to 16,432 cedis while cabinet minister non MPs were entitled to 15,739 cedis Members of Parliament were also paid between 13,686 to 16,036 depending on whether the person was an ordinary MP or in leadership.
The investigations also reveal that some of the former MPs indeed took just a top-up after they were appointed as ministers under ex-president John Mahama, which is entirely what should have been the case.
The current ongoing investigation by the CID will indeed reveal which of the implicated past government officials took double salaries or top-ups.
What triggered the Investigation?
The appointment of the elephant size government by the Nana Akufo-Addo led administration appeared to have triggered the scandal.
Part of the defence by president Akufo-Addo for his appointment of 110 ministers was that most of his appointees were already MPs and would not have to draw extra salary as ministers.
There was therefore the need to streamline the system and ensure that no minister so appointed by the president will be drawing extra salary as an MP.
It was the streamlining process which led to the jaw-dropping revelations that some ex-government appointees actually drew double salaries.
The CID’s attention was then drawn to the revelations and the investigations have begun.
For now at least nine former appointees including Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Ketu South MP Fifi Kwetey, Second Deputy Speaker Alban Bagbin, Tamale Central MP, Inusah Fuseini, MP for Ada East Comfort Doyoe Ghansah, Dr Rashid Pelpuo have been cited with some taking their turn already with the CID.
It is not clear yet which of them took the double salary or the top-up. But all of them appear to be blaming institutional failure for the anomaly.
They have blamed the Accountant General’s Department and Parliamentary Service Board for the anomaly.
But the Accountant General will not be blamed.
The head of payroll at the Accountant General’s Department Mrs Elizabeth Osei told Joy News they cannot take responsibility for the double salary saga.
She explained there is a separate payroll for MPs and Ministers. MPs are paid in Parliament and Ministers are paid by her department.
In the case of a Minister-MP the appointee has the option of choosing one outfit from which he or she will draw salary.
If that person chooses to draw a Minister’s salary he or she provides the accounts details to the Accountant General’s Department for payment into the account and vice versa if the person wants to be paid as an MP.
She hinted it cannot be the case that her outfit will pay a minister and an MP at the same time. She emphasized that all the payments made were those certified to be paid as ministers.
If those same persons find their names on an MP’s list of salary drawers, the Accountant General’s Depart cannot be held accountable for that, she emphasized.