Forces Pay Regiment: From Command Pay Office to modern financial administration

Stories and facts

Established in 1953 as the Command Pay Office, the Forces Pay Regiment (FPR) of Ghana has undergone significant transformations to become a pivotal entity in the financial management of the Ghana Armed Forces.

Initially serving only the Ghana Army, the office was situated within the Headquarters of the West African Command (WAC) at Butler Lines, now known as BOD location. In its nascent stages, the Command Pay Office operated under the leadership of British officers.

By 1955, Lt. Col. Westcot, a British national, was at the helm, supported exclusively by white officers and sergeants. The most senior African Other Rank (OR) at the time was WOII MO Koranteng, who later made history by becoming the first Ghanaian Commanding Officer after being commissioned. Other notable figures included the Chief Paymaster and Financial Adviser (CP & FA), Lt. Col. Graves.

The office was structured into various sections: African Accounts for Officers and ORs, British Account Section, Imprest Section, Cashier’s Office, Bills Section, and Debit Section. With Ghana’s independence in 1957, the Pay Office began administering unit pay, posting clerks to all units. This period also saw a move to 'Ghanaianise' the military.

An Africanisation course was organized for Ghanaian Warrant Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs), and senior civilian employees, marking the inception of the FPC Accountant AI Course. Major Nyarko (Rtd) and the late Major RS Martey were among the first to participate in this course.

In 1957, Capt. Slater from 3Bn and Maj. Awhaitey from 1Bn were transferred to the Pay Corps, with Capt. Slater becoming the first Ghanaian CP & FA and retiring as a Colonel. In 1958, the office moved to its current location in Burma Camp. Col. Koranteng, having been commissioned, served as the first Ghanaian Pay Corps officer directly commissioned rather than transferred.

Major Stump Kilb was the commanding officer during this transition. The FPO's structure included the Command Block, Officers Accounts Block, and Non-Effective Accounts Block. In 1960, when Ghana participated in the United Nations Operations in the Congo, the Pay Office played a crucial role. The late Major RS Martey was the first Force Paymaster for the operation, with Col. Koranteng serving as Paymaster for 3Bn.

By the early 1960s, the Pay Corps saw further Ghanaian leadership with Major Slater as CP & FA and Capt. Koranteng as the commanding officer. Six professional accountants from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) were commissioned into the Pay Corps, some of whom later became Paymasters General & Comptroller (PG&C).

In 1962, the Pay Corps initiated in-service technical training, organizing the first Accountant AI Course. The class, held in the old library, included six officers, two warrant officers, and nine sergeants. Capt. Kwofio served as the course coordinator, and a lieutenant who transitioned from the Central Band to the Pay Corps conducted the classes.

The Forces Pay Regiment continually adapted to technological changes. After the era of the Adrema machine, the National Cash Register (NCR) system was introduced, eventually replacing the NCR Call 399 with the NCR Class 400. In the early 1980s, efforts to establish a Data Processing Centre (DPC) were made to mechanize pay accounts for ORs and junior civilian employees. By 1987, cash payments at the pay table ended, with government employees receiving payments through bank transfers. Several paymasters later held notable appointments in government and business.

Their contributions underscore the significant evolution and impact of the Forces Pay Regiment on Ghana's military and broader societal structures. Their educational qualifications, such as a Master of Arts in International Security and Strategy from Kings College, London, and an Executive Master of Business Administration (Human Resource Management) from the University of Ghana, Legon, highlight the academic excellence within the regiment.

The Forces Pay Regiment's journey from a British-dominated office to a modern, Ghanaian-led institution reflects its pivotal role in the financial and administrative framework of the Ghana Armed Forces, marking a legacy of adaptation, leadership, and innovation.





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