Ghana: CAGD Clarifies Payments of Gh¢393,315 to 59 Deceased Pensioners

The Head of Public Relations at the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), Cephas Dodoo, has stated that the Department did not make payments to 59 deceased pensioners as suggested by the Auditor-General’s Report.

According to Mr Dodoo, the pensions for the deceased pensioners had already been halted upon notification of their passing, even before the audit was conducted.

Reacting to the Auditor-General’s Report, which implicated CAGD in unauthorised payments to deceased pensioners, Mr Dodoo, in an interview with the GNA, explained that the referenced report mentioned a section of management’s communication regarding military pensioners who had passed away.

He, however, stated that information about their deaths had not been promptly conveyed to the Department for the necessary removal of their names.

He said while the widows of the deceased military personnel were eligible for widows’ pension, the Department took steps to eliminate the names of the deceased individuals.

Additionally, a recovery process was initiated to recoup any overpayments by adjusting the monthly benefits payable to the widows. The process of recovery from the widows was in progress, Mr Dodoo added.

Mr Dodoo said the business process for pension payroll administration required CAP 30 institutions to provide inputs to CAGD for the payments of benefits to pensioners.

“When a pensioner dies, the institution or families of the deceased equally have the responsibility of informing CAGD, unfortunately, information about the death of the 59 pensioners were delayed,” he said.

Mr Dodoo said even though the management’s letter on the subject matter acknowledged the difficulty of CAGD to stop the payments of benefits because of late reporting of the deceased, the publication failed to highlight this fact together with CAGD’s responses to the observation.

He indicated, “It is our hope that the Birth and Death Registry will soon complete their digitalisation process and be integrated with the Pension Payroll System, which would enable deletion of pensioners as soon as death certificates were issued.”

Mr Dodoo stressed that CAGD had since July 2023 embarked on CAP 30 Pensioners Biometiric Data verification exercise, which would enable them to link the NIA numbers to the pension database as part of many internal control interventions to enhance payroll integrity.