February 10, 2015 Print

Governments throughout the world often hemorrhage funds through various forms of public-sector corruption. One common form of government fraud in developing nations is filling public payrolls with nonexistent employees, or “ghosts,” through which taxpayer revenue can be funneled into dishonest hands. IMANI, an Atlas Network partner in Ghana, has developed a set of recommendations for how independent auditors can keep public payrolls accurate and accountable.

Beyond simply taking a count of the number of physically identifiable employees, IMANI identifies a few other necessary procedures to keep public payrolls clean of “ghosts,” including: legal empowerment to block all fictitious payments; a rethinking of existing business practices around the verification of every payment; additional verification functionality via the Ministry of Finance; closing loopholes created by spotty Social Security records; legal consent forms by government leaders avowing accuracy during each payroll disbursement; and regular third- party audits.

Read IMANI’s full recommendations, “Rooting Out Ghosts Workers and Regaining Confidence in Public Payroll Administration – What Ought to Be Done.”