We are waking up to the perpetration of another illegality in the matter of a probe. And that is the supposed audit of foreign travels of Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo by the Audit Service Board. The Audit Service Board had gone further to appoint a private firm, K&A Accounting Services, to undertake the said audit which if allowed to proceed, would amount to illegality and an attempt to usurp the powers of Parliament.
The law is very clear on this matter.
The Constitution 1992, has clear provisions on who can conduct a probe and in this case, an audit into the services, actions and conducts of the Auditor-General. Article 187(15) of the Constitution 1992 states:
“The accounts of the office of the Auditor-General shall be audited and reported upon by an auditor appointed by Parliament”.
By convention, Parliament, through the direction of the Speaker, appoints an Ad-hoc committee for the purpose of recommending an auditor approved by the House of Parliament for subsequent appointment to undertake the audit of the Accounts of the Office of the Auditor-General.
The Audit Service Board is in no way, clothed with any such powers to undertake the appointment of an auditor for the purpose they have commenced. Indeed, the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), spells out the functions of the Audit Service Board in Section 4 (1), (2) and (3) as follows:
“*Functions of the Board
- (I) The Board shall-
(a) determine the structure and technical expertise required for the efficient performance of the functions of the Service;
(b) ensure that the auditing activities of the Audit Service as spelt out in this Act are carried out in accordance with best international practices;
(c) appoint officers and other employees of the Service other than the Auditor-General; and (d) determine the terms and conditions of service of officers and other employees of the Service other than the Auditor-General.
(2) In pursuance of subsection (1) the Board shall hold consultation with the Public Services Commission but final decision on any matter is subject to the approval of the Board.
(3) The Board may delegate to the Auditor-General or any officer of the Service or a committee of the Board, the appointment of such category of staff of the Service as the Board may determine.”
From the foregoing, the supreme law of Ghana, the 1992 Constitution, and the parent act, which in this case is the Audit Service Act, 2000, Act 584, places the power to audit the Office of the Auditor-General in the hands of Parliament and excludes the exercise of such powers from the functions of the Audit Service Board.
Clearly, the intention to conduct this audit, and the subsequent appointment of an audit firm in this regard, is illegal, void and must not be allowed to stand. This clearly amounts to the usurpation of the powers of Parliament as stated clearly in Article 187(15), and must be abandoned immediately.
The writer is the South Dayi MP and a member of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs, and Judiciary Committees.
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