Audit Office Urges Treasury to Halt Illegal Pensions

In a recent report, the auditor-general’s office has once again highlighted the issue of state officials receiving both salaries and pensions concurrently, a practice deemed illegal. The special report on the Treasury for 2022 calls for an immediate halt to this practice, which directly contravenes existing laws.

The Audit Office has been emphatic in its directive to the Treasury, stating that “no illegal pension should be paid out for the month of January 2024 and thereafter.” This comes after the Treasury announced plans to continue pension payments to currently serving officials, based on legal advice from the attorney-general’s office. The report reveals that about 160 officials, both retired and active, are receiving multiple pensions. High-ranking officials, including the president and four ministers, are among those collecting a state pension alongside their salary.

This issue has been contentious for years. In 2014, the legislature attempted to rectify the situation by passing a law to end these simultaneous payments. However, the courts later declared the law unconstitutional, asserting that pensions are the property of the recipients and cannot be revoked.

The Audit Office’s findings also include concerns over accounting practices within the Treasury that do not align with standard principles of receipts and payments. Moreover, it was noted that public-sector wage cuts mandated by the 2013 bailout agreement were not applied to judges appointed post-legislation until August 2021, thereby exempting them from salary reductions.

The report further criticizes the Treasury for inadequate checks on compliance with government-subsidized loan schemes for businesses and new homeowners, introduced as part of COVID-19 relief measures. Instances were found where the Treasury’s receipts lacked proper documentation, raising doubts about the accuracy and verification of these financial transactions.

The findings of this report underscore the need for stricter adherence to legal and financial standards within state operations. The Treasury’s response to these issues will be closely monitored by both officials and the public as they address these significant concerns raised by the auditor-general’s office.


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