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GeneralLiberia news

Civil Service extends PAN period

Government extends deadline for undocumented employees to regularize their status.

By: Kruah Thompson 

Monrovia, Liberia, April 11, 2024 – The Civil Service Agency (CSA) of Liberia has announced extension of the deadline for the Personal Action Notice (PAN) completion process for undocumented employees from 90 to 120 days.

 The extension, spanning from April 2 to August 2, 2024, aims to facilitate the deployment of necessary logistics and analysts to collaborate with the Human Resource Departments of Spending Entities in verifying bona fide employees and completing the PAN process.

Making the disclosure Wednesday, March 10, 2023, in Monrovia, the CSA Director General, Josiah Joekai, said that in the coming days, the Agency will distribute a comprehensive timeline to all Spending Entities, outlining key activities, execution dates, and assign teams for the PAN completion exercise, to assist spending entities’ Human Resource Departments in preparing adequately for the process.

The Personnel Action Notice (PAN) is a document used in human resources management to record changes or updates related to an employee’s status, such as hiring, promotion, transfer, termination, or other personnel actions. It is an official record of these changes and is typically maintained in the employee’s personnel file. The PAN helps ensure accurate documentation of personnel actions and facilitates proper administration of employee benefits, payroll, and other HR processes.

However, Director General Joekai outlined that a Public Sector Modernization Project (PSMP) has been implemented by the CSA, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), and a host of other spending entities over the last six years to institute major reforms to ensure prudent public finance management. 

He explained that the national payroll management and control system, which ensures accountability and transparency in the use of public funds to pay government employees, was an integral part of the PSMP. 

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He thanked development partners, especially the United States government through USAID, the Swedish Government, the EU, and the World Bank Group, for funding the exercise.

Mr. Joekai also lauded former President George Weah for allowing the General Auditing Commission to conduct a comprehensive payroll compliance audit across all 103 government spending entities. 

“In keeping with accountability and transparency, the General Auditing Commission (GAC) conducted a forensic payroll compliance audit from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2021. The payroll audit uncovered alarming proportions of financial mismanagement, fraud, and waste laid out in the Auditor General’s findings and recommendations”, he explained.

He noted that the audit’s recommendations are divided into segments, with some requiring a multi-sectoral implementation approach and the majority needing simple and straightforward actions.

Meanwhile, the CSA Boss has disclosed that, with immediate effect, the Agency is taking a series of actions to implement the Auditor General’s recommendations, including projecting the summary of physical verification head counts, having observed that 122 (one hundred twenty-two) employees from across 20 ministries and agencies had shared bank accounts. 

“There are two scenarios associated with this discrepancy. For the first scenario, one employee with the same name, same NIR number, and same date of birth is listed twice under two different entities with two positions but one bank account at a single bank. This is double dipping, meaning the employee is receiving two salaries.”

 Pointing to the second scenario, he revealed that two different individuals have the same bank account number, different positions, and are working in the same entity. “These ghost names represent ghost employees receiving payment for work not done. The government is losing US$30,795.09 monthly.”

According to Joekai, the Auditor General recommends permanently removing individuals illegally or fraudulently sharing bank account numbers from the payroll.

Pointing to the projector, he added that, in keeping with the Auditor General’s recommendation, the CSA has placed a moratorium on all salary payments to the 122 individuals concerned for April 2024, pending a one-month verification. “Failure to be verified during the stipulated period will result in the affected individuals being permanently removed from the payroll as of May 2024,” he announced. 

He further noted that during the audit, the GAC observed that mobile money payments were made to 127 individuals whose names on the GSM registered mobile numbers were different from the names on the payroll, which caused government to lose US$12,040.14 and 550,852.75 Liberian Dollars monthly.

“In other words, illegitimate individuals or personnel are being paid for services not performed.”

Additionally, he revealed that the GAC also observed Nine Thousand Two Hundred Eighty-Seven (9,287) employees, representing 13.7% of employees’ records from 91 spending entities were unavailable for physical verification. Editing by Jonathan Browne 

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