A former Prime Minister of Solomon Islands says ridding the ghost staff from the public service is crucial if the country is to rebuild its economy.
Bartholomew Ulafa'alu was forced to resign at gunpoint three years ago but has now made recommendations as head of a new task force on economic reform.
Mr Ulafa'alu says the government would save a great deal by striking non-existent public servants and teachers from its payroll.
He says they should physically visit departments to search for empty desks, both at national and provincial level.
"The existence of ghost employees has been observed for some years now but no-one has physically gone down and counted the people by head so that you could establish what the real numbers are."