Burkina Faso suspends 1,200 `irregular` civil service salaries

 The government of Burkina Faso announced Saturday it will cease paying over 1,200 civil service salaries -- representing nearly one percent of the nation`s public jobs -- to battle alleged payroll fraud.

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 26, 2015, 01:51 AM IST

Burkina: The government of Burkina Faso announced Saturday it will cease paying over 1,200 civil service salaries -- representing nearly one percent of the nation`s public jobs -- to battle alleged payroll fraud.

Salaries paid to 1,213 civil servants found to be in "irregular or unknown situations" will be suspended, according to a government statement received by AFP. The figure represents nearly one percent of the country`s total 135,563 public employees. 

The move comes after authorities took steps in May and June to pay public sector salaries directly to collecting employees rather than through habitual bank account deposits -- a measure designed to verify legitimate recipients of state salaries, while weeding out fraudsters receiving payment to fictional public workers.

Salaries have also been halted to a further 200 civil servants whose current status or activities justified the freeze.

The suspensions should allow Burkina Faso`s government to temporarily reduce public payroll outlays by 2.7 billion CFA (4.2 million euros, $4.6 million) each year.

The nation`s current regime -- which came to power following the popular uprising last October against former president Blaise Compaore that ended his 27-year reign -- has pledged to combat rife corruption and cronyism it says the country`s former rulers relied on.

The transitional government took power in November, and will hand over control to the winners of legislative and presidential elections scheduled for October 11.