By Padraig O'Hannelly.
The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) biometric registration program is claimed to have removed more than 16,000 'ghost workers' from the state's payroll.
Addressing the CWC/GFEn's Kurdistan Iraq Economic Forum (KIEF) online conference, Kurdistan's Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani, said:
"Building on phase one of our biometric registration program, where every wage-earner was enrolled, we are using that data to right-size our government and ensure that only people who need to be employed are.
"So we have eliminated 16,500 people, who have illegally been receiving more than one salary.
"We expect that there may be many more ghost employees who may be registered as government employees, but who are in fact not working, so we will eliminate such wasteful spending."
The DPM did not say if the criminals will be prosecuted and the embezzled funds recouped.
The virtual conference continues on Wednesday.