Civil servants risk missing salary over payroll verification and validation

PS Ggoobi said the exercise is intended to eliminate ghost employees, to know the exact number of government employees and how much each earns and why.

Ramathan Ggoobi, the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance (Photo/File)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Ramathan Ggoobi yesterday warned that civil servants who miss out on the ongoing verification and validation exercise will be removed from the government payroll in the next Financial Year.

“Whoever fails to turn up for the headcount will no longer be considered a government worker. And as such, they will not be paid salary, beginning July 2023,” said Ggoobi.

This is the first time in modern-day Uganda that the authorities are undertaking such a wide-ranging payroll audit across all ministries, local governments, departments and agencies.

Mr Ggoobi said the ongoing exercise is for only public servants and is a compulsory non-negotiable activity and that the exercise is being carried out by the Office of the Auditor General where every civil servant will be given a number if verified as a bona fide public servant.

Addressing journalists shortly after being verified as a bona fide public servant today at the Ministry of Finance headquarters in Kampala, Ramathan Goobi the psst Ministry of Finance, planning and economic development noted that the exercise is intended to eliminate ghost employees, to know the exact number of government employees and how much each earns and why.

“The problem has been laxity in the management of the payroll and budget indiscipline… The implementation of the outcome of this exercise is going to be 100 per cent; there will be no excuse. Those who don’t participate will not be included after the exercise,’’ he said.

Adding that; “This exercise involves physical verification. Those who will not get verified will be deemed not to be employed by the government of Uganda.”

He emphasized that all employed public servants must present National Identification Numbers and payslips while appearing for the verification exercise which is intended to find out the honesty of government accounting officers.

“Our mission is to stamp out non-existent employees. We would want to know the number of workers on the payroll, how much they are earning and who the pensioners are,” he said.

Meanwhile, the head count exercise for all public servants came up due to the letter from the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija to Auditor General John Muwanga requesting him to carry out an outstanding and exclusive special audit about the issues of government payroll to know the number of employees on the government payroll and their salaries.

The exercise in question started this month and here civil servants present all their documents showing when they started working for the government, qualifications, the size of the salary and where she/he receives it from, and many other requirements.

After the exercise, the Auditor General Mr Muwanga will issue a final verification report next month in June and it is from this report that the Ministry of Finance will use to determine how much money each government entity will receive to pay for salaries starting from the next Financial Year.

Government this financial year budgeted Shs6.4 trillion for salaries and wages. But this fell short after President Museveni’s unilateral pay increase for ‘scientists’ and some military officers.

This announcement plunged public financial management into chaos. The finance ministry is reported to have scrambled to re-arrange its planning which saw thousands of workers missing salaries for months.

In the budget document for the financial year 2023/24 currently before Parliament, the ministry proposes a recurrent budget increase from Shs15.7 trillion to Shs15.73 trillion of the country’s revised revenue and expenditure estimates for the period which stand at Shs50.9 trillion.

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