Domelevo resumes work on March 3 after 167 days of ‘forced’ leave

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The Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo is set to resume work on Wednesday, March 3, following a directive from the Presidency in July 2020 to take his accumulated leave.

Mr. Domelevo who clarified the date after various news reports that the 167-days leave he started on July 1 had expired, said although it ends on March 2, he will report on the third.

Earlier, the Office of the President had extended the initial leave by 44 days after Mr. Domelevo’s letter to President Akufo-Addo, urging him to reconsider his directive to proceed on his accumulated leave.

Among other things, the Auditor-General had claimed that the directive was a breach of the labour law and was unconstitutional.

Mr. Domelevo explained that based on the labour law and recent practice, “no worker is deemed to have accumulated any leave on account of having failed, omitted, neglected or even refused to enjoy their right to annual leave, which the law guarantees for their benefit, not the employer.”

But a letter dated Friday, July 3, 2020, and signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, said although the Presidency is yet to be formally served with a copy of the letter by the Auditor-General, it had taken due notice of the content, which has been widely spread in the media and on social media.

On the basis of that letter, the President rather increased the accumulated annual leave of the Auditor-General from the initial 123 to 167 working days to include his period of leave for the year 2020 instead of the earlier directive which only calculated the accumulated leave days from 2017 to 2019.

Many Ghanaians, including some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have since attributed the ‘forced’ leave to the $1 million surcharge slapped on former Senior Minister, Osarfo Marfo by the Auditor General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo.

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.

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