Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has apologized to all public sector workers whose names were mistakenly removed from government’s payroll.

A few weeks ago, the government announced 26,589 names of public workers have been deleted from the public payroll, saving Ghana about GHC433 million.

According to the government, the affected names were not biometrically registered with SSNIT.

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, said the exercise was crucial to protect the public purse, but was quick to apologise to all those who were deleted inadvertently.

“With wage issues we have to stay within appropriation and control of wages. We did an exercise recently in which quite a number of people were taking out of the payroll. We’ve had some remarks from some unions, but the real question for all of us in the country is that we know that there is some rot in there, we know we need to take some action and in the process of taking the action a few wrong eggs will be broken and we should apologise for that,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said at the maiden National Policy Summit.

He added: “But in terms of principally understanding and appreciating and working towards a solution, I think that should be the spirit of which our labour partners talk to us. I don’t know the labour partners who we may have wronged, but going through the numbers I actually found one or two of the directors of finance being included in the list that they don’t exist.

“So there are mistakes, which is OK, but truly we are talking about six, seven hundred or even a billion cedis of potential savings. I think it’s incumbent on all of us to work in that spirit because we at the Ministry have no personal interest in individual names but in making it efficient because if we also pursue the investigation I think it will be very embarrassing to realise that your young friend Kojo or Kwame in Elubo is actually able to continue to pay three other people and put that money in his pocket.

“I’m not sure the labour unions are trying to support that type of action, so we do apologise for those who should not have been in but I think we should all resolve that we are going to clean up so that individuals do not privatise this business.”

The monthly programme will allow ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to communicate their policies to the public. The programme is a strategic dissemination of information on government programmes and policies.

The expectation of the Summit is to build partnerships and elicit feedback to government to enhance further policy formulation.