By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Operational audit conducted by the Office of the Federal Auditor General on the social security administration of civil servants revealed that 1.4 billion birr collected from various government institutions of Oromia Region has not been paid to the authorised administration.
In a report submitted to the House of Peoples Representatives in June 2023, the audit supervision team of the Federal Auditor General’s Office announced there is 1.4 billion birr of pension collected by the Oromia Regional Finance Bureau but not disbursed to the Social Security Administration of Government Employees.
Administration officials said that though efforts were made to recover the money, the Oromia Regional Finance Bureau declined the request saying that the money “does not belong” to the Administration.
The Oromia Regional Finance Bureau told the Amharic Weekly Reporter that the bank account number opened is not only used for the administration, but also meant to run the entire business.
Director of Pension Deduction Income of the administration, Mulubirhan Kassa said his office discovered through his experts that there was found only 209 million birr of pension contributions deducted from salaries in the Oromia Region.
“It was reminded that the audit supervision section gave an order to take possession of the 1.4 billion birr found in the account of pension contributions of Oromia Regional Finance Bureau with the view that the money was under the proprietorship of the administration. But finding the money under the account number of pension contributions does not indicate by any means that the money is under the ownership of the Administration,” Mulubirhan said.
He said that the pensions of the offices are collected through Regional Finance Bureaus while pensions of other offices, which are under the federal government, are collected through the Federal Ministry of Finance.
According to the proclamation of the Ministry of Finance, that allows the gathering of pensions through regional financial and economic federal offices, the pension fund should be deposited within 30 days starting from the first working days of the month.
The other proclamation stipulates that the administration should send auditors to monitor and control the pensions collected from Regional States and the Federal Government.
The audit supervision team of the Federal Auditor General’s Office said replying to questions forwarded by the Reporter that the information that states about the 1.4 billion birr, which was not collected from the Oromia region, came from the administration itself.
“The region and the administration may have their own agreement. Our task is to find and report that the institution did not collect what it should have collected,” the office said.
An official at the Oromia Regional Finance Office said on condition of anonymity that “pension collected from the region is deposited on a known account. It is clear from whom, from which Zone and Woreda it is collected and deposited. When problems arise, we discuss it with the administration and reconcile,” he responded.
Though there is unpaid arrears of pension contribution in Oromia Region, the administration will request the payment along with its interest and this will be settled accordingly.
There are 54 government offices with 600,000 workers in 21 Zones and 340 Woredas of Oromia Region, information obtained from the regional finance office indicates.
The Public Employees’ Social Security Administration collects up to four billion birr every month from 2.5 million employees serving under 3,254 government offices including governmental development organisations.
The proclamation of the administration indicates that the amount of salary pension deducted from the civilian is 7 percent from the employee, 11 percent from the employer, 18 percent in total, and 40 percent from the salary pension deducted from employees of Defence and Police Force.
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