There’s nothing to handover – Domelevo replies Audit Service
The former Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo, says it is preposterous for the Audit Service Board to order him to hand over to his successor.
According to him, on 30th June 2020, he presented a handing over note to the Acting Auditor-General who has been in charge for over 8 months.
Board Chairman of the Audit Service, Professor Edward Dua Agyeman in a letter ordered him to “prepare a comprehensive handing over of the Audit Service to Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu who has been asked to continue to act as Auditor-General until the President appoints a substantive Auditor-General”.
But in a response by Mr. Domelevo said he cannot handover what was never handed to him.
The former Auditor-General said 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 note which he gave to the Acting Auditor-General on June 30, 2020, a day after he was told to commence his leave.
“When I resumed work on the 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. After 9 pm on the same day I resumed work, I received a letter from the Secretary to the President directing that I proceed on retirement,” he said in his reply to the Chairman of the Audit Service Board.
Mr. Domelevo maintains that he can only hand over if the Acting Auditor-General hands over back to him.
“If you so wish, please direct the Acting Auditor-General to hand over to me and I will thereafter handover to him.”
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.
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.
In December 2019, the Senior Minister moved to challenge the $1million surcharge against him.
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.
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 it.
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.
The High Court then proceeded to deliver its judgment based on the report of the Acting Auditor-General.
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.
But on March 3, the Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo returned to work after his 167 days mandatory leave.
However, by 9pm that same day, he received a letter from the Presidency asking him to proceed on retirement.
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