I'm not accountable to you and don't owe a pesewa – Domelevo tells Audit Service Board

The Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo has called the bluff of the Audit Service Board scrutinising his foreign travels.

Auditor General, Daniel Yao Domelevo

He said not a pesewa is outstanding against him for any advance or imprest that he took for any of his foreign travels.

His reactions come after Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman, Board Chair of the Audit Service wrote to him to return an amount of $4,020.00 that was released to him as accountable imprest during his foreign travel in March and April 2018.

K&A Accounting Services, a private firm was appointed by the board to audit the travels from Domelevo as well as other top management staff of the Audit Service from 2017 to 2020.

The private firm is expected to audit GH¢2.1 million and $199,000 "spent on foreign travels by the Auditor-General and top management staff."

Earlier, Domelevo described it as illegal attempts by the Audit Service to engage the services of the private accounting firm, K&A Accounting Services to audit the foreign travels of management at the office of the Auditor-General.

He said the appointment of the accounting firm is a violation of Articles 187(15) of the constitution which provided that "the accounts of the office of the Auditor-General shall be audited and reported upon by an auditor appointed by parliament."

He also said the mandate of the Audit Service Board is circumscribed by Article 189 of the constitution that is the board in consultation with public service commission (a) appoints staff other than the Auditor-General, (b) determines the terms and conditions of service of the staff, and (c) by constitutional instrument, makes regulations for the effective and efficient administration of the Audit Service.

Advancing more arguments why the audit is not grounded in law, the Auditor-General also clarified that:

Article 189 of the Constitution does not mandate the Audit Service Board to commission audits – 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.

The appointment is inconsistent with and violates several legislations including Section 16 of the Audit Service Act 2000, Regulation 6 of the Audit Service Regulations 2011, Section 25(3) of the Public Financial Management Act 2016, and Sections 14, 15,16, 21, 66(3) among others of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (as amended); and the payment of audit fees and any related expenses resulting from this appointment may not be a lawful charge against public funds.

Yao Domelevo noted that he does not owe any imprest or accountability to the board chair.

In his reply, he stated that the question as to whether or not the audit is even legal is before the Supreme Court for determination and for which reason the request from the chairman of the audit service board is contemptuous of the Court per writ number J1/2/2021 titled Daniel Yaw Domelevo v Prof Edward Dua Agyemang and two others."

"Read Sections 2(3) and 7 of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 and you will realise that the mandate you and the board purport to have under the Audit Service Regulations 2011 (CI 70) is that of the Principal Spending Officer- hence I am not accountable to you," he stated.

"That said, not even a pesewa is outstanding against me for any advance or imprest that I took for any of my travels," he added.

He wondered why Prof Agyeman still holds himself as the Board Chairman after the expiration of the Board's term of office on 11th October 2020 contrary to Section 5 of the Audit Service Act 2000 (Act 584).

"Until you provide evidence of your reappointment in accordance with article 189(1) and section 5(1) of Act 584, I deem you to be acting ultra vires and will treat you as such," Domelevo stated.

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