$3.9M overpaid to Ministry of the Presidency employee in 2016 yet to be recovered

-    five others also overpaid

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Between July 2016 and June 2017 some $3.9 million was overpaid to a contracted employee of the then Ministry of the Presidency under the APNU+AFC Coalition Government.

The employee continued to receive salaries and had their taxes and contributions to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) paid although their contract expired on July 31, 2016, with no evidence of it being renewed.

When the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sat down to review that aspect of the Auditor General’s 2016 report on Wednesday, it was revealed that the monies are yet to be recovered.

While no recurrence was observed, an explanation letter to Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs, noted that the Ministry of the Presidency withheld the salary of the officer from September 2017.

The News Room understands that in this instance, the officer was sent on leave shortly after the government changed in 2015. The officer remained on leave until the contract expired, but continued to be paid one year after.

The letter, signed by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, Abena Moore noted that the officer has since been written to.

“The Ministry is engaging the attention of the officer and the Department of Public Service for an amicable solution,” the letter noted.

In addition to being overpaid $3M, the officer also had deductions totaling $897, 947 overpaid to the Guyana Revenue Authority and the NIS. The overpayment amounted to $1.637M during the period August to December 2016 and a further sum of $2.295M for the period January to June 2017.

The AG report noted that another five officers who worked in the Department of Citizenship were overpaid salaries totaling $593, 554. While there was no recurrence, these sums have also not been recovered.

Moore again noted that the government continues to pursue the matter of retrieving the overpaid sums.

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