The General Inspectorate of Finance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (IGF) has uncovered large-scale public payroll fraud, with dozens of bogus employees costing the state nearly $800 million a year.
Following the results of an audit of government salaries, the IGF found many irregularities involving tens of thousands of ghost employees.
Each month, “the monthly profit loss incurred by the Ministry of Finance is 148,999,749,440.95 Congolese francs (or $66.2 million),” the Internet Governance Forum said in a statement Thursday of an audit conducted by its services.
Congo’s financial regulator says more than 145,000 paid agents have “incorrect, fictitious, and fabricated registration numbers for payroll purposes.”
Additionally, more than 40,000 agents are paid without their names appearing on the declarative lists of the services that employ them, while more than 90,000 agents share the same registration number with other paid agents.
And the IGF promised to provide judicial authorities with a list of 961 state agents involved in this “mafia network.”
The same source added that “some cases of obvious irregularities are already subject to cancellation” in state services payroll.
For 2023, the DRC budget is estimated at 16 billion US dollars.
Despite the country’s vast natural resources, poverty is widespread. According to the World Bank, almost two-thirds of the country’s 100 million inhabitants live on less than $2.15 a day, the international poverty line.
The country ranks 169th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2021 ranking.