PERENNIAL PROBLEM

Paying staff with cheques won’t stop ghost workers

The payee on a cheque can easily be changed.

In Summary
  • Cheques are an expensive and time-consuming way to pay salaries.
  • The accounts department would struggle to confirm all the thousands of staff coming to collect their cheques.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during the launch of Biometric System at City Hall, May 22, 2019.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during the launch of Biometric System at City Hall, May 22, 2019.
Image: COURTESY

Siaya county has started paying salaries with cheques to weed out ghost workers (see P29).

This will not resolve the perennial problem of fictitious workers on the payroll.

Cheques are an expensive and time-consuming way to pay salaries. County staff will have to come in person to collect their cheques. This might provide a physical check on the existence of those staff. But virtually no private sector companies pay their staff using cheques. It is just too cumbersome.

Private companies do not have big problems with ghost workers. Banks have strict controls on opening personal accounts. New customers show their ID, confirm their address and undertake other checks before they get an account. It is very difficult for a ‘ghost’ to open a bank account.

Cheques are no solution. The payee on a cheque can easily be changed. The accounts department would struggle to confirm all the thousands of staff coming to collect their cheques.

Let Siaya county call in a competent audit firm to set up a modern, automated electronic payroll if they want to get rid of ghost workers permanently.

 

Quote of the day: “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”

John F Kennedy

He was elected American president on November 8, 1960