Govt victimizing Audit Service staff who worked on Kroll case – Domelevo
Staff at the Audit Service who worked on the Kroll and Associate case involving Senior Advisor at the Presidency Yaw Osafo-Maafo are being victimized, former Auditor General Daniel Domelevo has alleged.
The former AG said, “His heart bleeds for the current state of the Audit Service he once headed” due to the treatment being meted out to some staff.
According to him, some staff of the Audit Service who worked with him to investigate the Kroll case has suffered unjustified punishments for doing their work.
“All the people who were associated or identified to have a role to play in the audit of the Ministry of Finance which resulted in the Senior Minister’s issue have had their share,” he said.
He was speaking at the Domelevo Accountability Lectures organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on the theme: ‘Can a public officer fight corruption without political backing’,
Mr Domelevo claimed the Deputy Auditor-General in charge of Central Government Audit had been demoted two steps lower.
The lawyer who led the case in court has also been transferred to Cape Coast.
In March 2021, President Akufo-Addo directed the then Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, to proceed on retirement.
This came barely 16 hours after he returned from his 167-day accumulated leave on March 3.
According to a statement signed by Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, the directive stems from an indication by the Audit Service Board that Mr Domelevo had exceeded the eligible age to remain a Public Servant.
Subsequently, the Audit Service Board announced that the then Auditor-General is deemed to have retired in June 2020 in accordance with information from his personal records.
“The President thanks you for your service to the nation and wishes you the very best in your future endeavours,” part of the statement from the presidency read.
Domelovo’s controversy with top officials
In 2018, Mr Domelevo surcharged the 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 the Finance Ministry paid money.
The AG, therefore, surcharged Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo and four other officials of the Finance Ministry.
But the Senior Minister denied the allegations.
After rejecting the explanation by Osafo-Maafo, 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.
In December 2019, the Senior Minister moved to challenge the $1million surcharge against him.
He filed an application 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.
But while the case was in court, Mr Domelevo was asked by President Nana Akufo-Addo to proceed on 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.
When Mr Domelevo raised concerns about the leave, the Presidency extended the days from 123 to 167
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.
But on March 3, the Auditor-General returned to work after his 167 days mandatory leave.
However, by 9 pm that same day, he received a letter from the Presidency asking him to retire.