Reports from the Liberian Senate adhoc committee investigating senate staffers’ unpaid salaries, totalling about US$557,000 say payroll for staffers appears to be a scam.
The committee is headed by Grand Gedeh County Senator, G. Alphonso Gaye.
The report, which was presented to plenary on Thursday, August 6, noted that the total workforce of 802 employees of the Senate appears to be too huge in relation to the responsibility of each department and work environment.
The committee however recommends that the Senate conducts an independent audit to determine the legitimacy of the payroll.
Giving full details of the report, Senator Gaye said the office of the Senate Secretariat has 33 employees, while Human Resource Department has 22 persons, protocol, 47, travel service 9, Finance Department, 22 persons and Internal Audit, 16 persons, respectively. Others are, budget department, 16 persons, procurement, 19, press department, 23 persons, legal office, 11 staff, while another legal session has 15 persons.
Sen. Gaye noted that there are Directors and Deputy Directors in Central Administration who earn more salaries than other Directors and Deputies, adding that some directors earn more than the chief of office staffers of senators.
The Grand Gedeh County Senator explained that some directors in Administration earn US$850, some US$ 2,000, while some deputies earn US$1,700 and others, US$1,100, respectively. Senator Gaye continued that some office managers earn more salary than chief of office staff, disclosing that office managers earn US$995, while chief of office staff get US$ 975.
He added that the committee discovered that some departments that have never had a motorcycle assigned to them have from one to four drivers assigned to them and those names are on the payroll.
Meanwhile, Senator Gaye has recommended that the Senate mobilizes additional resources, about US$600,000 to be added to the staffers’ salaries and that said amount should be paid to staffers retroactively.
“Even if the said amount doesn’t increase their salaries, let it restore their salaries that they had before the harmonization”, he instructed.
The plenary of the Liberian Senate overwhelmingly voted on July 22, to probe Bomi County Senator Morris Saytumah, for his role in the handling ofUS$557,000 or a little over half million United States Dollars allocated for senate staffers.
Staffers have been protesting here in demand of Liberian dollar component of their monthly salaries that have not been paid since July, 2019.
By Ethel A Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne