National

Audit Service Board probes Domelevo’s foreign travels

Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo

Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo has written to Parliament to challenge a decision by the Audit Service Board to probe his foreign travels.

This comes after the Board appointed a private firm known as K&A Accounting Services to audit the foreign travels of the Auditor-General, as well as that of other top management staff of his office.

Mr Domelevo has kicked against the move, insisting that, it is a breach of the Constitution.

In a letter written to management of the Board and copied to Parliament as well as the Secretary to the President, he said the Constitution makes provision for only Parliament to conduct audits into the accounts of the Audit Service.

“Consequently, the accounting firm so appointed lacks the mandate to audit, review or examine documents and or records relating to the accounts of the Office of the Auditor-General,” he said.

He, therefore, wants the Board to withdraw this decision.

“I have no difficulty if auditors are appointed (at any time) in accordance with the Constitution to audit the accounts of the Office of the Auditor-General. It is of utmost importance that we obey the laws of this country and I will ensure compliance at all times,” he said.

K&A Accounting Services is expected to audit GH¢2.1 million and $199,000 spent on foreign travels by the Auditor-General and other top management staff.

The said amount covers the cost of travels from 2017 to 2020.

Subsequently, the Audit Service Board has also written to Mr Domelevo, defending their decision.

According to the Board, it is strange that an Auditor-General who has been preaching accountability, is now unwilling to subject himself and his office to audit scrutiny.

Chairman of the Board Prof. Dua Agyeman argues that Article 189 (3) (b) of the 1992 Constitution gives power to the board to make regulations through a constitutional instrument “for the effective and efficient administration of the Audit Service”.

In view of this Article, he said, the board introduced the Audit Service Regulations, 2011 (C.I.70), which states that it (board) shall be “ultimately accountable and responsible for the overall performance of the Audit Service and also secure its public sector financial management and accountability process of the country”.

“‘In that instance, the board observes that the Auditor-General and the top management staff of the service had made many official travels out of the country, without producing any reports to the board or with nothing to show for such travels,” he said.

He added that, the board engaged the consultants based on Section 8 of Act 584 which allows them to engage the services of experts [if the need be], in order to ensure the efficient discharge of their duties.

Domelevo’s Accumulated leave

Meanwhile, Mr Domelevo is still serving his accumulated leave.

President Akufo-Addo in June asked him to take an accumulated leave of 123 days which was later extended to 167 days, effective July 1.

The move was highly criticised by Civil Society Organisations who further called for the reinstatement of Mr. Domelevo.

According to the CSOs President Akufo-Addo cannot ask the Auditor-General to proceed on leave when he had been assigned a special duty to investigate the payment of $1million to Kroll and Associates Limited by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo for some consultancy services.

The move was also criticised by some members of the NDC who say this is a strategy employed by government to shield the Senior Minster from being investigated on the matter.

Despite these accusations, President Akufo-Addo refused to heed to the calls of these groups on the basis that, the Constitution makes provision for any public office holder to take leave.