Liberia: Internal Audit Finds Over 700 Ghost Names Discovered on Ministry of Internal Affairs Payroll

Mr. Emmanuel Nyenswah, Director General of the Internal Auditing Agency

Monrovia – The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) has completed phase one of its payroll audit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs which led to the discovery of over seven hundred names of unverified individuals, out of the over five thousand employees listing submitted by the ministry for payroll verification.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) is amongst several government entities whose payroll are being audited, in an effort to reduce waste and support the Government of Liberia’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

According to the IAA , the over seven hundred unverified names discovered during the audit process were not physically present during the verification and have been reconciled by both the auditee and auditors as unwanted on the payroll.

Those unverified names are accordingly being recommended by the IAA to be placed on hold by the Civil Service Agency and the Harmonization office at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

The purpose of the payroll audit is to get rid of non-existent or ghost names from the ministry’s payroll. To have achieved that, a complete personnel list for each county was used by the auditors to verify staff locations as well as offices assigned.

During the audit, the IAA sought to determine the legitimacy and accuracy of payroll salaries paid by the government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs to its staffs, as well as to confirm that staff listed on the payroll are bona fide and working employees of the ministry.

This, plus the many other completed payroll audits, will enable the Internal Audit Agency to help the government of Liberia in identifying opportunities to improve the system, procedures and processes to prevent the reactivation of non-legitimate employees on government’s payroll.

Payroll verification is among the top two priorities of the Internal Audit Agency for the fiscal year, with fixed asset verification and management being the other priority areas.

Meanwhile, information gathered has it that the IAA has also completed the NPA/APM Terminals reconciliation audits of royalties paid to the Government of Liberia.

According to reports, the Government of Liberia and the APM Terminal’s management are working on the possibility of resolving issues identified in the said audit.