Former Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo

The former Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo has described as preposterous, a directive from the Audit Service Board asking him to “prepare a comprehensive handing over of the Audit Service to Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu.”

This, he says is because he has been out of office for more than eight months.

In a letter dated March 17, and addressed to Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Prof Edward Dua Agyeman, Mr Domelevo explained that he also handed over before going on his ‘forced leave’ in 2020.

“Paragraph 2 of the letter from the Office of the President dated 29th June, 2020 requested that I “hand over all matters relating to the Office of the Auditor-General to Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu” who has been in charge since 1st July 2020″, part of the letter explained.

According to the former Auditor-General, although the directive to go on leave was contrary to Section 27 of the Labour Act which states that a worker must be given 30 days prior notice, he prepared the handing over notes and subsequently handed over to the Acting Auditor-General on June 30, 2020; a day after he was told to commence his leave.

The clarification from Mr. Domelevo follows a letter signed by the Chairman of the Board asking the former to complete the handing over exercise within two weeks.

The letter which had the Vice President, the Chief of Staff and the Secretary to the President on copy said all the administrative duties were going to be handled by the Acting Auditor-General who had been asked to remain at post until a substantive appointment is made.

But Mr. Domelevo maintains that he can only hand over if the Acting Auditor-General hands over back to him.

“When I resumed work on 3rd of March, 2021, Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu did not hand over to me with the excuse that the handing-over note was not ready; and after 9 pm of the 3rd of March, 2021 (the same day I resumed work), I received a letter from the secretary to the President requesting that I proceed on retirement,” he added.

Background

On March 3, 2021, President Akufo-Addo directed the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo to proceed on retirement.

This came less than 16 hours after he returned from a 167-day accumulated leave.

The directive, according to a statement signed by Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, stems from an indication by the Audit Service Board that Mr Domelevo has exceeded the eligible age to remain in the workforce.

“The attention of the President of the Republic has been drawn to records and documents made available to this Office by the Audit Service, that indicate that your date of birth is 1st June, 1960, and that in accordance with article 199 (1) of the Constitution, your date of retirement as Auditor-General was 1st June, 2020.”

The statement explained that “based on this information, the President is of the view that you have formally left office.”

Essentially, Johnson Akuamoa-Asiedu will continue to act in Mr Domelevo’s stead until a substantive appointment is made.

“The President thanks you for your service to the nation and wishes you the very best in your future endeavours,” the March 3 statement concluded.

Chronology of event

In 2018, Mr Domelevo surcharged then Senior Minister, Osafo-Maafo for superintending over the payment of some $1 million to Kroll Associates by the Ministry of Finance.

According to Mr Domelevo, there was no evidence of work done by the UK-based firm, yet money was paid by the Finance Ministry.

The AG, therefore, surcharged Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo and four other officials of the Finance Ministry. But the Senior Minister denied the allegations.

Senior Minister responds to Auditor-General on $1m Kroll payment

After rejecting the explanation by Osafo Marfo, the Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo revealed on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that, the Senior Minister has 60 days to go to court to seek an order setting aside his surcharge.

Osafo-Maafo explanations rejected, surcharged $1m over Kroll contract

In December 2019, the Senior Minister moved to challenge the $1million surcharge against him.

Osafo Maafo moves to challenge $1m surcharge by Auditor-General

An application was also filed on the same matter at the Supreme Court.

Counsel for the five appellants, Mr Yaw Oppong, argued that the Auditor-General acted “unreasonably, capriciously, maliciously and in blatant violation of his duty as a public officer”.

He maintained that the Auditor-General failed to inspect certain documents which held evidence of work done provided by Mr. Osafo-Maafo before the surcharge.

High court finds Auditor General guilty of contempt

But while the case was in court, Mr. Domelevo was asked by President Nana Akufo-Addo to proceed on leave.

Akufo-Addo directs Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo to take accumulated leave

Mr. Domelevo’s deputy, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, was asked to take up the position of Acting Auditor-General.

He, therefore, led the inspection of the documents as directed by the Supreme Court and expressed satisfaction.

Acting Auditor-General satisfied after examining Osafo Maafo’s documents in $1m Kroll saga

When Mr. Domelevo raised concerns about the leave, the Presidency extended it.

Auditor-General Domelevo’s leave period extended from 123 to 167 days – Presidency

A week after that, the Auditor-General was astonished to discover that the locks to his office had been changed when he went by to pick up some documents.

Locks to Auditor-General, Domelevo’s office changed while on leave

The High Court then proceeded to deliver its judgment based on the report of the Acting Auditor-General.

Domelevo did not abide by rules of natural justice in $1m Kroll Audit – High Court rules

Less than 24 hours for Mr. Domeleve to return to work on March 3, 2021, the Audit Service Board said his retirement was June 1, 2020.

This, according to the Board is because Mr Domelevo was born in 1960 and not 1961.

You’re deemed to have retired based on your date of birth – Audit Service Board tells Domelevo

But on March 3, the Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo returned to work after his 167 days mandatory leave.

Domelevo at post despite Audit Service Board deeming him retired

However, by 9pm that same day, he received a letter from the Presidency asking him to proceed on retirement.

Thanks for your service – Akufo-Addo directs retirement of Domelevo