The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Development Initiative has expressed misgivings about the circumstances surrounding the directive for Auditor General Daniel Yao Domelevo to proceed on a 167-day accumulated leave.
According to the organisation, the move goes against the quest for the office to maintain independence in the discharge of its duties in the light of accelerating accountability and transparency in a country’s democracy.
President Akufo-Addo in a statement dated Monday, June 29 directed Mr Domelevo to take his accumulated annual leave of 123 days from Wednesday, July 1 and hand over all matters relating to his office to Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, the Deputy Auditor-General, to act in his stead.
The Office of the President further extended the leave period of the Auditor-General from 123 days to 167 in the wake of concerns raised by the A-G over the directive because his work, according to him, is embarrassing the government.
A cross-section of Ghanaians have criticised the decision citing a potential derailment of the strides made by the office in the fight against corruption.
In a statement issued July 30, Director-General of the INTOSAI Development Initiative, Einar Gørrissen demanded that all stakeholders ensure “the Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority” as stated in Section 7(a) of Article 187 of the Constitution of Ghana and which is consistent with Principle 1 of the Mexico Declaration, which calls for “the existence of an appropriate and effective constitutional/statutory/legal framework and of de facto application provisions of this framework.”
The Audit Service of Ghana is a member of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), of the African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI), and the African Organization of English-speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E).
Expressing concern over what he described as ‘the potential negative effects these events can have’ on the independence of the Audit Service, Mr Gørrissen articulated his outfit’s “commitment to initiate and to support all possible actions intended at advocating for the independence of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) as supported by the principles recorded in the Lima and Mexico Declarations.”
He also called on policy-makers to take steps to “endow the Ghana Audit Service with institutional, organisational and professional capacities enabling it to accomplish its mission effectively, in order to create value and benefits for the citizens of Ghana.”
The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), since its establishment in 1953, has played an increasing role in the creation of an international framework for sharing and disseminating knowledge, standards and good practices to strengthen external control of public finances and to sustainably improve the independence, professional competence, credibility and influence of SAIs for the benefit of citizens in the respective countries, supported by its autonomous, independent and apolitical character, as well as its special status in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).