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Govt audits civil service

… as probe unearths ghost workers

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

ONLY people who registered their names in the civil servants headcount will get their salaries this month, Public Service Human Resource Director, Likeleli Mphaloane, has said.
This follows suspicion by government its payroll is littered with ghost employees fraudulently receiving salaries from its coffers.

Ms Mphaloane’s remarks come in the wake of a government statement that civil servants from the ministries of Health and of Local Government will be paid through crossed cheques starting this month-end.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho is suspicious that there are ghost employees in its payroll,” read the statement.
“In order to ascertain the extent of the problem, it has decided to pay civil servants starting with the Ministries of Health and Local Government in crossed cheques for a period of three months with effect from May 2014.”
“In order to assist the government on the implementation of the decision, the Central Bank, in collaboration with other stakeholders including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Public Service and the banking industry held a meeting at the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) on Thursday…to agree on the modalities to facilitate smooth implementation of the process without disrupting the normal practice of paying salaries of civil servants on time,” it further stated.

The CBL has insisted that all civil servants should deposit their crossed cheques into their bank accounts so they cannot dodge paying their bills and other commitments that are paid through stop orders.
The CBL Head of Operations, Seabata Ntelo, said traders were warned against accepting the crossed cheques in exchange for goods and services.
Mr Ntelo said only the bearers of the cheques can cash at their respective banks.

“Businesses that will accept the cheques should be warned that they will not be able to get the value depicted on the cheques as they can only be cashed by the persons whose names appear on them,” Mr Ntelo said.
Late last year, the Ministry of Finance embarked on a head-count on the ministries of Health, Local Government and Education in which civil servants were required to present their credentials.
Public Service Minister, Motloheloa Phooko, last month said that preliminary findings revealed that hundreds of people on the government payroll were bogus.
Dr Phooko said the investigations will also encompass other government ministries to ensure that the whole civil service is accounted for.
The new arrangement, the government said, will be rolled out on a three-month trial basis.

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