The Quadrangle

The payment of salaries to thousands of ghost workers occupying various positions in the Gambia’s civil service has been stopped by new administration of President Adama Barrow, Demba Ali Jawo, minister of Information has revealed.

Mr Jawo said an audit exercise carried by the administration to clean up the country’s civil service uncovered over 3,000 ghost workers who were being paid monthly salaries from the public coffers. He added that the government has since June 2017 stopped paying the wages of 3,146 people on its payroll.

“The main objectives of the exercise were to reduce the wage bill by identifying and eliminating potential ghost workers from the payroll, recover wrongful salary payments and as well, update the personnel records of civil servants and security agencies,” Mr Jawo told reporters during a presser held at GRTS building in Kanifing, about 7km away from Banjul.

An audit of the civil service was held from March and May 2017 by the country’s Personnel Management Office (PMO) with the support of the International Financing Management Systems (IFMS) II Project to eliminate ghost workers fraud and allow authorities to have a clear picture of government staff.

Minister Jawo said the audit has revealed a wide spectrum of malpractices, resulting to a total payment of D10, 445,612 per month and 125,347,346.76 yearly.

As a sizeable amount of money was involved in the payroll fraud, its consequences have been disastrous for the public service. These corruption practices were also extended to another level due to fraudulent claims and expenses for employees who were seconded or