Government workers who request for original hard copies of their payslips to facilitate loan applications are being compelled by some loan officers and workers at the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) to pay between GH¢40 and GH¢100 before the payslips are printed for them.
As a policy, financial institutions accept only original pay slips for loan transactions, so workers who readily do not have the latest slips for the three months preceding their loan application are forced to pay the illegal fees to some loan officers who claim they need to pay some workers of the CAGD to get the slips.
At the Kwame Nkrumah Circle branch of IZWE Loans Company, The Mirror learnt that clients who did not have the slips pay between GH¢40 and GH¢100 to agents who work at the company, who in turn pay the money to their contacts at the CAGD to get the slips to enable them to process the loan applications.
For instance, an applicant who visited the CAGD in the company of The Mirror on Wednesday, November 6, to pick copies of her payslips for the months of August, September and October was told to call again next week as the department was having some challenges with the printing of the payslips.
However, when the applicant returned to IZWE and reported the challenges she was facing at the CAGD with regard to her payslips, one of the officers managed to get the payslips from his contact (s) at the CAGD almost immediately.
It was also revealed that the loan officers do all they can to get clients’ payslips to enable them to process their loan applications because they get commission on the number of clients that they bring in to take loans.
When The Mirror visited the Swanzy Arcade branch of the Consumer Finance Company, a loan officer confirmed that he could get all the payslips required to process a loan application, without the involvement of the applicant (government worker).
In September, the CAGD announced the introduction of electronic payslips or E-Payslips for public sector workers. The system, expected on stream before the end of 2013, would enable workers to view the summary of their payslips on mobile phones before going to the banks.
Madam Grace Adzroe, the acting Controller and Accountant-General, announced this at the inauguration of a payroll printing site in Ho for the Eastern and Volta regions recently.
Some workers received their E-Payslips for the month of September on their mobile phones, which means they could also print them out from their computers if they so wished.
However, an officer at IZWE, who pleaded anonymity, said the company would not accept payslips that workers would print out themselves because some people could print many payslips and attempt to take multiple loans from various companies, thus putting the businesses of the loan companies at risk.
“We deface the original copies printed by the CAGD that the applicants present to us after we have finished processing the loans to make it practically impossible for the applicants to present them at another company for more loans but with the print out of the E-Payslip, they can print as many as they want and apply for more loans which they can obviously not pay,” the officer said.
He said with the current economic hardship in the country, many workers were chasing loans all over the place and that had compelled some people to capitalise on the situation to create a payslip-printing business.
He, therefore, called for a stakeholders meeting on the government’s plans to introduce E-Payslips since the move would affect their business.
In an interview with Madam Adzroe, she insisted that the introduction of the E-Payslip system did not mean that original hard copies of payslips would no longer be given to workers.
“Workers will still receive their printed payslips through their institutional heads only. We do not give payslips to individual workers, so those who for some reasons need copies of their payslips should apply for them through the heads of their institutions only,” she pointed out.
She said the CAGD had offices in parts of the country, where payslips are printed for workers, and anybody who had issues with their payslips should report to the heads of their institutions, who would in turn forward the concerns to the department for attention.
“We have an office in Tamale that serves the three northern regions; Takoradi for Central and Western regions and Accra for the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Greater Accra regions.”
Workers can access their E-Payslips online by visiting www.gogpayslips.com. They are to contact the management/unit heads for registration codes.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit her at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.