Costs on ice

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By HELEN TARAWA
TREASURER Charles Abel says significant progress is being made towards restoring discipline and containing costs as the Government reaches the halfway mark of its 100-day 25-point plan.
Abel told The National that the main area being reviewed was Government salaries, with a reconciliation and audit process on it underway.
He said the audit process was looking into the reasons for the rapid growth of government payroll over the past four years.
The Government as part of its 100-day plan is strengthening its payroll management system.
Part of the exercise is to freeze the hiring of public servants. The Staffing and Personnel Emoluments Audit Committee is to identify departments and agencies for amalgamation.
All public servants are required to register for a national identity card by the end of the year.
And independent audit would be carried out on the government payroll system and all payroll systems will be integrated to the Alesco system.
Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan told department heads that all constitutional offices were urged to join the government’s Alesco payroll system for accountability and transparency.
Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele reminded government departments and agencies that money from operational funding should not be used to fund personnel emoluments.
He said some government departments used operational cost to fund personnel emoluments.

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