Christian Tetteh Sottie, Accountant General, on Monday, assured workers in the Public Sector, who were underpaid in October due to payroll anomalies, that the irregularities would be reversed on Friday November 7.

The anomaly that was attributed to a software problem led to overpayments, underpayments, recoveries of overpayments, tax arrears and tax on arrears.

Mr Sottie gave the assurance at a media encounter in Accra, where he was assisted by Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Deputy Minister at the Ministry and Mr Frank Agyekum, Deputy Minister of Information and National Orientation, to answer questions associated with the irregularities.

He said the government payroll, which started running fully on the Oracle software or Integrated Personnel and Payroll DataBase Replacement (IPPD2) in October 2006, started encountering problems since last year.

Mr Sottie said the Accountant General Department contacted experts, who suggested the need to upgrade the software.

“The upgrade of the Oracle software or IPPD2 was completed and used for processing the payroll for government workers for the first time in October 2008.

“Several controls have been into the upgrade or the newer version to check abuses and errors. These controls, which were not built into the earlier version of the IPPD2 has resulted in overpayments recoveries and underpayment refunds to several workers.”

Mr. Sottie said although there was nothing wrong with the recoveries made by the IPPD2, the Department was mindful of the fact that the effect on workers was too severe and drastic.

There was therefore the need to suspend the exercise in order to streamline it to establish beyond reasonable doubt that all the recoveries are correct before effecting the deductions.

“We are also mindful of the fact that the overpayments did not result from the fault of the workers hence the need to spread the recoveries if any, over a long period, to ensure that workers do not suffer unduly.

Mr Sottie said all teachers who embarked on unauthorised industrial action and were pardoned by President John Agyekum Kufuor, would be paid on November 7.

All arrears due to staff before commencement of IPPD2 in October, 2006 would also be paid on Friday.

Dr Akoto Osei said government deployed a second back-up system last year at the cost of more than 400 million dollars and was looking forward to a third system to manage the anomalies in future.

He defended the huge expenditure to secure the software, saying government is committed to the establishment of a robust payroll.

Prof. Gyan- Baffour noted that the recovery of overpaid salaries is a policy decision and not the Department’s.

He said government would study the matter based upon the report it received from the Department before appropriate action could be taken.

Source: GNA