Taveta staff count reveals ghost workers, double pay

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 05:55 |
Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja.

Taita Taveta county government could have lost millions of shillings in payment of salaries to ghost workers, an audit report released by Governor Granton Samboja has disclosed.

 The report of the investigations on the human resource department undertaken by the  Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has also exposed double payment of salaries and wages to staff who have already left the service. 

 Samboja said a repeat headcount concluded on November 13, identified 83 ghost workers who have been siphoning thousands of shillings from public coffers.

 The governor directed the termination of contracts for the 804 casual employees and stopped payment of salaries for the alleged 83 ghost workers immediately.

Fresh recruitment

 “I direct that 804 casuals contracts be terminated pending a fresh recruitment process on a need-to-engage -basis by the county public service board,” said Samboja.

 According to the September 2019 payroll, there were 3,216 employees, out of which 3,120 turned up for the headcount. Of the total number, 96 who did not turn up, 74 are on permanent basis while the rest are casual.

 “I also direct that all the employees who did not turn up for the head count exercise hereby deemed to be “ghost workers” and their salaries have been halted with immediate effect,” he added.

The report also exposed how some of the staff were earning double salaries as permanent and pensionable employees and as casuals.

It also exposed that some of the officers hired as casuals were hiring other people to work for them.

 The report points fingers at payroll staff who the governor said should bear responsibility and directed they should be surcharged. 

 “It is not clear how some officials who had been released on transfer to other counties were still earning from the county payroll even as necessary approvals and letters were issued. It’s shocking that a county staff, who had issued notice and exited public service in July 2019, was still earning a salary,”said Samboja. 

 The report also found irregularities in hiring of some of the 804 casual employees, with some receiving payment without having any signed a contract with the county.

 Samboja said he had written to the DCI on July 1, requesting the probe to establish the exact number of workers and arrest the ever-ballooning wage bill. 

Invalid contracts

 It also exposed staff working with invalid contracts, irregular placement of casuals who had exited public service, staff whose contracts have expired but still drawing salaries and payment of staff members who have gone on study leave without proper approvals.

 “The departmental and payroll staff who have occasioned loss of taxpayers’ money through illegal payments should take full responsibility. Chief officers are hereby directed to ensure the staff whose employment has been terminated clear with their relevant offices immediately,” he said.

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