Following an earlier information by the Youth and Employment Authority that, it had deleted 16,839 names from its payroll due to an alleged detected rot which amounts to over Gh¢50 million, the Minority in Parliament has dared the new management of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to publish the full report which alleges fraud in the scheme.
According to a reports from an internal audit conducted by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), they have 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 un-posted beneficiaries, funds for official use which were paid into personal accounts, as well as procurement without adherence to due process.
This has informed decisions of the Minority to set the records straight by challenging the new management of the said outfit to release the alleged report of the internal audit agency it keeps referring to, together with the written responses of staff who were cited or implicated in the said report, saying, the report presented by the new management of YEA earlier was not credible and must be disregarded.
According to the Minority, the computerized system put in place by the previous management cannot be manipulated for any fraudulent activities hence the allegation by the new management that the fraud occurred under the erstwhile government is questionable.
Adding that, for the avoidance of doubt each beneficiary of YEA is biometrically registered which makes it easy to identify beneficiaries.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, June, 15, the Minority Spokesperson on Youth, Sports and Culture, who is the Member of Parliament for the South Tongu Constituency, Hon. Kobla Mensah Woyome said, there is no way two or more beneficiaries can use or be paid through the same e-zwich accounts, and for that, “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,” and therefore challenging the new management’s claim that some persons were fraudulently paid despite not having appointment letters”. He emphatically stated.
Hon. Woyome also accused government of witch hunting, vilification and intimidation, challenging the leadership to produce the names, E-zwich numbers, modules, youth employment numbers, regions and districts for the said ghost names for the Public to check if beneficiaries cannot be traced to the four cycles of the YEA.
But the acting Chief Executive of YEA, Justine Kodua Frimpong, had stated earlier 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.
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.
Meanwhile, the Former Director of the Agency, Mr. Kobina Obu Beechem, has said that the fraud did not entirely happen under his administration and ensured that some of the challenges the new administration said it had uncovered did not occur, and has since called for the swift prosecution of those found culpable.
Story: Blessing Roselyn Boateng