The government has ordered the Comptroller and Auditor-General (C&AG) to urgently conduct a staff and wage bill audit at all parastatals and local authorities to flush out ghost workers and tame the public enterprises’ ballooning wage bills.
This was disclosed in minutes of the Harare City Council human resources and general purpose committee meeting of November 18 2014.
“The human capital and public safety director reported that government had directed the Comptroller and Auditor-General to conduct a total manpower and staff costs audit of all State enterprises, parastatals and local authorities,” part of the minutes read.
“The Comptroller and Auditor-General had subsequently appointed council’s external auditors Grant Thornton to conduct the audit covering the period 1st June to 31st July 2014 in council.”
The focus of the audit according to council minutes was to look at payroll pay-outs, recruitment and employee placement, remuneration policies, total workforce and head count and employee welfare benefits.
This came in the wake of reports that most parastatals and local authorities were stuffed with ghost workers while top executives were awarding themselves hefty salaries and perks.
Government last year, blew up the lid on public executives’ obscene salaries where it emerged that some were getting more than $250 000 a month.
Harare City Council was also fingered in the scam in which it awarded its executives hefty salaries while services continued to collapse.
In the case of Harare, the 18 managers then were gobbling more than $500 000 a month in salaries and allowances
Though the C&AG’s Office was not immediately available for comment, the move by government, according to sources was part of the exercise to deal effectively with cases of ghost workers, bloated workforce and obscene salaries for managers at public enterprises.
The move would allow government agencies to put their wage bill under check and focus on service delivery. Government itself is also a culprit of a bloated workforce with reports that it has over 70 000 ghost workers within its rank and file, a move that analysts said had strained the national purse.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently disclosed that civil servants’ salaries gobbled 80% of government’s monthly revenue inflows.