Anviz Global Exercising Ghost Workers: Biometrics Used to Curb Employment Fraud

Employee Fraud in the form of Ghost Workers, absentee employees, is a major issue that many African states are currently dealing with. Anviz Global's biometric time attendance device can help reduce lost revenue by eliminating ghost workers.

Tampa, FL, May 07, 2014 --( Often, corruption is difficult to define, and even harder to expose. Corruption involves the abuse of power for one’s personal gain. The practice occurs in the public and private sectors, and at various levels.(i) One of the more nuanced forms of corruption occurs through the employment of “ghost workers.” A ghost employee is an individual who is on a payroll but does not work at that institution. With the use of false records the individual is able to collect wages for labour that is not undertaken.(ii)

This issue is gaining special attention in numerous countries across sub-Saharan Africa, as governments attempt to address this problem. A prominent example of this can be seen in Kenya. It is believed that the Kenyan government is losing roughly 1.8 billion Kenyan Shillings, over 20 million U.S. dollars, per year to ghost worker payments.(iii) This is not an isolated crisis in Kenya. It appears that ghost employees are commonplace in the public and private sectors in many African nations.

The task of reducing ghost employees appears extremely difficult. However, the Nigerian government may have a solution. Biometric identification registrars have been set-up across the country, specifically at government payroll distribution centres. The devices have registered federal employees based on their unique bodily features. Through biometric registration, thousands of non-existent or absent workers have been identified and removed from the database.(iv) This has helped eliminate many duplicate registrations.(v) By the midway point of last year, the Nigerian government had saved 118.9 billion Naira, over 11 million U.S. dollars, by removing roughly 46,500 ghost workers from the employment system. It is believed that the monetary value saved during this process will increase, as the biometric devices have not been installed in all targeted facilities.(vi)

The success that can be seen in Nigeria is a positive sign for those who struggle with ghost employees. To expose this type of employee fraud on a larger scale requires devices that are capable of registering a large number of employees. A device that is capable of this task is the T60, by Anviz Global. The T60 is a fingerprint time-attendance device, with mifare reader. The mifare option allows for data to be stored directly onto a subject’s card. This allows for an unlimited number of people to be registered into a single system. The mifare feature also increases the scalability of the system. Since an unlimited number of employees can be registered, new subjects only need to be added, without any additional changes to the overall system. This is an ideal situation for large-scale institutions, such as government branches or large corporations who oversee a large number of employees. Given the number of subjects the T60 can identify, the set-up is extremely easy. No database needs to be established, just simple registration in the device.

Corruption is usually an extremely difficult impropriety to curtail. However, registration for fraudulent payments is often done through a hardcopy list. The use of biometrics makes it easier to identify the real people on those lists, as opposed to the ghosts. Corruption comes in many forms and is often difficult to track. With the use of biometrics, at least one form of this issue can be limited. This newfound money can then be re-directed towards other sectors that sorely need greater government funding.

T60 and other Anviz-manufactured mifare card-reading devices will be on display in the Anviz booth at IFSEC South Africa, May 13-15, booth J15 Hall 2. For additional information, visit

(i) Transparency International’s Definition of Corruption

(ii) Fraud Magazine

(iii) Sabahi Online News

(iv) Daily Independent News Online

(v) Ibid

(vi) All Africa Online News
Anviz Global
Chris Palmer