Ministers working to address salaries blowout

National

TREASURER Sam Basil says he is working with two fellow ministers to address the Government salaries blowout.
Responding to questions about the public service wages overspending, Basil said between January and August this year, an additional 3,000 new public servants had been added to the structure.
He said the new public servants were registered onto the wages bill that had increased the expenditure of the fortnightly payout.
“I believe that Finance Minister Charles Abel has announced an audit and we will stand behind him and we will support it,” Basil said.
“We are collaborating with Public Service Minister Westly Nukundj to see if we can put a cap on the hiring of new officers until the audit sets in.
“Those are the ministers- Abel, Nukundj and myself as Treasurer – we are very concerned and we are working very closely to address those issues.”
Abel said the department was putting in place short-term measures to limit abuse of the payroll system.
Abel, without giving detailed information on what those short-term measures were, said the department was in the process of engaging an auditor.
He said the engagement of an auditor was being finalised with the state solicitor.
Nukundj had initiated the process of fixing the ongoing issue of payroll overrun that has been a concern for past and present governments.
Nukundj said there were 6070-plus unattached officers on the government payroll which amounted to K260 million to K270 million every year.
He queried the number of new recruits in government departments and agencies not on government payroll.
He said the government was not necessarily trying to reduce costs, rather establishing a number that was effectively performing its duties against a position that the government was paying for.

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