Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has defended its decision to deduct 10 per cent of salaries of teachers who reside in government bungalows as payment for rent.

According to the Service, the decision has been necessitated by the constant queries it receives from the Auditor-General’s Department and the consequent invitation by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The Head of Public Relations of GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo in a statement on Wednesday, noted that the Auditors referred to the Ministry of Finance’s Circular No. 133385/05/06 NTR CAGD dated 15th May, 2006, which indicated that occupants of Government bungalows are required to pay 10% of their basic salary as rent.

10% salary for rent: We are only abiding by recommendations of Auditor General, PAC - GES

She, therefore, explained that the Service is only abiding by the recommendations of the external auditors and the directives of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament that “GES should charge the appropriate rent on staff occupying government bungalows.”

“In order to avoid further audit queries which culminate in summons before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on the subject, the Director-General has directed all Cost Centre Managers of the Service to be guided by the Ministry of Finance’s Circular and charge the appropriate rent of 10% on the basic salary of staff who occupy government bungalows as official accommodation.

“Management of GES wishes to reiterate that it is not the GES which is imposing the rent or determining how much is to be paid but purely being guided by the Ministry of Finance’s Circular and the admonitions of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament,” parts of the release read.

After news broke about the said deduction, teacher unions, particularly, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) promised to resist the directive.

President of the Association, Angel Carbonu, said should government force its members to pay, teachers will quit the extra work they do that requires them to live in the bungalows.

Other Unions decried the fact that payments are expected to be backdated to 2006 when the policy was enacted.

But Mrs. Ampofo in the release indicated that Management of the Service has noted the concerns and will hold a meeting to that effect in the coming days.