By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.
MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia has launched a program coded “E-Verification Platform” which is intended to improve the Government with “wage bill management system”, announcing that no Government Employee will receive salary as of July, 2020 without a biometric National Identification Number (NIN) issued by National Identification Registry (NIR).
Acting CSA Director General, James A. Thompson who read a statement on behalf of the government states that the new policy is part of the over-all Civil Service Reform Agenda which requires the forfeiture of salary beginning with the month of July 2020 pay period, unless a biometric National Identification Number (NIN) issued by the National Identification Registry is presented.”
Reading the joint statement on behalf of the National Payroll Clean-up Task Force which comprises the Civil Service Agency (CSA), Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) and National Identification Registry at the CSA’s Conference Room in Monrovia yesterday, Wednesday, Acting CSA Director General Thompson said the announcement of the regulation marks the beginning of the enforcement of a key provision of the Wage Bill Control Regulation.
The regulation, he explained, was endorsed by the Cabinet on March 9, 2020, making the National ID Number a compulsory requirement for Government employees’ salary payments.
The measure is intended to remove ghost names from government payroll and should be taken seriously by all employees, Mr. Thompson warned. He sad “a stop-salary-payment” action will be taken against all employees who have not provided valid national ID numbers to their ministries or agencies, and/or have not taken the national ID cards.
According to him, Employees will have the opportunity to take the national ID card at various NIR centers across the country, after which the stop-salary-payment action will be effected against government workers. He further said the existing registration center and the office of the National Identification Registry in Congo Town, Monrovia, have been reactivated.
“Additional registration centers will be announced over the radio and in newspapers; senior officials of the government – mainly appointed and elected officials – will also be provided a special center.”
He disclosed that at the special center, those of the senior officials who have not taken the national ID card can do so without obstacles and delays” Thompson added.
The CSA Acting Director General said the Payroll Clean-up Task Force through the National Identification Registry manifestation of institutionalizing of the national identification number as the primary and sole biometric identity of government employees has formally granted to Civil Service Agency & the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning full access to the electronic verification platform of the national ID system.
Thompson furthered that the move is a major development that will enable the CSA and the MFDP to gain direct access to the NIR database for the purpose of authenticating the identity of civil servants, and that the E-verification platform has been used to verify the National ID of over more fifty thousand government employees since its endorsement.
Some of the cleaning measures the Task Force outlined include Automation of retirement and pensioning of overage and inactive government workers.
“To achieve this, our team is working with (NASSCORP) to ensure retirees removed from the active government payroll are immediately placed on the pension payroll of the National Social Security and Welfare Cooperation, Physical verification and headcounts of employees at the various spending entities across Liberia. He named the spending entities across Liberia as Education, Health, and Security, which he said are the largest employment sectors.
He also spoke of streamlining of employment and replacements within spending entities to the extent that all replacement of employees is centralized through the Civil Service Agency in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
Also speaking at the gathering, the Chairperson of the National Payroll Clean-Up Task Force, Del-Francis Wreh said the launched of the platform is a great move by government to ensure that ghost names are removed from the payroll and is also complementary to saving money for other development purposes.
He said the goal of the taskforce will be achieved with caliber of member-institutions comprising its constitution, which includes the Civil Service Agency (CSA), Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP and the National Identification Registry (NIR) being major players in payroll management control of the national identification system of the country.
Mr. Wreh noted that in order for the Task Force to fight fraud in the system, the government of Liberia will pay salary to employees who are bearer of the national identification cards produced and issued by the NIR.