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Dead employees still pulling down salaries on gov't bill

Published:Wednesday | August 18, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Philip Hamilton, Gleaner Writer

The Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU) says it has uncovered several discrepancies in the public sector, including salary payments to dead workers on the Government's payroll.

PSTU Chairman Peter Moses made the revelation while speaking at yesterday's sitting of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, which is reviewing the PSTU's recommendations for modernising the public sector.

"There are too many people employed, too many people being paid, people who are being paid who are not alive anymore - we have unearthed a lot," Moses told the committee.

The PSTU chairman said the proposed recommendations being suggested by the unit was not a radical document but one which sought to make the public sector much more efficient through an ongoing exercise.

Defensive individuals

He said the unit had encountered several groups as well as individuals at senior levels who were extremely defensive when discussing whether a country Jamaica's size required the current infrastructure.

PSTU Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Patricia Sinclair-McCalla told the committee that her team was currently undertaking a technology verification exercise to ascertain the status of persons on the public-sector wage bill, as most of its systems were still paper-driven.

"We could not get the June 30 wage bill electronically to verify who exists in the public sector. If we had it electronically done, it would be an easy exercise," Sinclair-McCalla acknowledged.

The PSTU CEO noted that, were such a system in place, cases of multiple payments would be readily identified.

"We have a count of 113,000 and have literally gone through, line by line, to see where we exist in the system not as Mary Smith-Brown, Mary-Smith, or Mary Brown getting three salaries in three different positions," Sinclair-McCalla said.