Local Government Payroll Validation Seminar Ends

MONROVIA – Liberia’s grip on loopholes in the public sector payroll is proving cumbersome – thanks to the geniuses of payroll paddlers. And so, the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center (LIMPAC) and the Civil Service Agency (CSA) have concluded a seminar that begins the validation of payroll for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), especially local government structures.

LIMPAC, a research Think Tank of the Government of Liberia, chaired by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning assembled local government officials and payroll analyst from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. “The training brings together county officials and an Analyst from MIA which accounts for the third largest agency of government with the most amounts of employees,” Del-Francis Wreh, Executive Director of LIMPAC explained.

He said the training brought everyone to the table including Superintendents, MIA, CSA, and MFDP so as to look at the payroll of each county. The total manpower strength of MIA is around 5300 and the Process also provides maximum education to the county officials about the ongoing pay reform that is currently being implemented.

The verification training is said to be targeting the Ministry of Internal Affairs especially the local government payroll as part of efforts to efficiently and collaboratively clean the payroll of all government ministries and agencies. “Additional action the government intends to take to clean the payroll is the Taskforce on Ghost Removal setup by the Cabinet. And the local government payroll is a critical aspect of that exercise along with others who the taskforce will be visiting to do headcount of employees”, he said.

He said “the last three days, we have completed cleaning 10 counties correcting 80 percent of the problems on the payroll.  We will work with the local authority to ensure we have an efficient payroll that shows value for money. For the next step, there is going to be periodic reconciliation of the local government payroll”.

For James Thompson, Acting Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA), this is all part of efforts to get a handle on ghosts and to end payroll paddling across ministries and agencies. “After this exercise, we would have trimmed the wage size of the government. Verification to me shows those we are carrying are the appropriate staff of the Agency of government”.

He said “we are trying to make sure we finally get a handle on ghost workers. We are bringing the county officials and central administration to know who the real people are.  We want to make sure the government is getting value for money spent on wages.  



LIMPAC Chairs Multi-Agency Payroll Clean-Up Taskforce

In support of the on-going wage bill and civil service reforms exercise, The President of the Republic of Liberia H.E George Weah has constituted  a Multi-Agency Payroll Clean-Up Taskforce.  The Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center(LIMPAC) within the Ministry Finance and Development Planning(MFDP) has been nominated to lead the activities for the taskforce.

The Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center(LIMPAC) is a research and policy think tank in the Ministry of Finance and Developing Planning which is currently leading on the on-going wage harmonization and standardization exercise. Over the past several months, LIMPAC, leading the Payroll Harmonization Team along with the Civil Service Agency  has been working with various spending entities within the central Government in creating  transparency and equity within the national wage bill through standardizing the pay grade system, centralizing, and automating the payroll. Through the harmonization  exercise, which is backed by the National Standardization Act of 2019, paygrades were assigned to about 74,000 employees of central government thereby achieving reduction in  the Wage bill by US$30 million, from US$327 million at end of FY18/19 to US$297  million in the approved FY19/20 National Budget. Also, through the harmonization exercise, basic salary and general allowances were collapsed into a single salary and immediate salaries increment were effected for more than 15,000 employees; mainly security officers, teachers on supplementary payroll, health workers, employees of revenue generating agencies.

The Task Force which primary objective is to remove ghost employees  from the payroll in an efficient and  sustainable manner also include the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), the Civil Service Agency (CSA), and the National Identification Registry (NIR) .  LIMPAC as chairman of the Task Force will  supervise the daily activities of the Taskforce as well as forge persistent collaboration with other members and the spending entities of interest to identify and immediately remove or blocked ghost employees from the government centralized and automated payroll system.

The Internal Audit Agency Co-chairing the  Taskforce will institute physical audits of payrolls for entities on interest and provide findings to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning through LIMPAC and the Civil Service Agency  for immediate actions. The National Identification Registry will ensure that employees have valid National Identification Number(NIN), while Civil Service Agency will provide data and support to members regarding employees’ records and job history.