The Minority in Parliament has challenged the management of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), to publish full details of the internal audit that allegedly uncovered payroll fraud of about GH¢51 million.
According to them, the computerized system put in place by the previous management cannot be manipulated for fraudulent activities hence the allegation by the new management that the fraud occurred under the erstwhile government is questionable.
Addressing the media on Thursday, it said the report presented by the new management of YEA was not credible and must be disregarded.
An internal audit conducted by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has uncovered a huge payroll fraud which has cost the country about GH¢51 million under the John Mahama government.
The amount, according to the findings of the report, is an aggregation of unearned allowances paid to unposted beneficiaries, funds for official use which were paid into personal accounts, as well as procurement without adherence to due process.
The acting Chief Executive of YEA, Justine Kodua Frimpong, said that some 2,716 beneficiaries did not have appointment letters, while 9,442 beneficiaries were above the age required. Another group of 4,681 beneficiaries, also vacated their post, while 14,443 beneficiaries were simply non-existent. Some 11,512 beneficiaries were also without the assumption of duty letters.
The Minority Spokesperson on Youth, Sports and Culture, Kobina Mensah Woyome, who address the press said “There is no way two or more beneficiaries can use or be paid through the same e-zwich accounts. We challenge you to query this claim with The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS). We have no doubt in our mind that the [new] management is either ignorant of the operations of the GhIPSS platform or they are engaging in baseless and needless propaganda aimed at scoring cheap political points.”
“The beneficiary management system used in the payment of beneficiaries makes it impossible to pay beneficiaries who do not have appointment letters,” he added, challenging the new management’s claim that some persons were fraudulently paid despite not having appointment letters.
Although the new management has said that it is yet to finalize investigations into the matter, it insists that the preliminary findings are true and exposes corruption under the previous management.
The Deputy Director of YEA, Mr. Ibrahim Bashiru, has said that his outfit will make public the full details of the findings after it finalizes its investigations.
Meanwhile, the former director of the Agency, Kobina Obu Beechem, has said that the fraud did not entirely happen under his administration.
According to him, he ensured that some of the challenges the new administration said it had uncovered did not occur.
He has since called for the swift prosecution of those found culpable, especially as it was revealed that some persons had forged his signature.