The Audit Service Board has asked the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo, to account for an imprest of $4,020 from his foreign travels in 2018.
The board indicated that although the amount was an accountable imprest, Mr Domelevo failed to retire it.
A letter dated November 30, 2020, signed by the Chairman of the Audit Service Board , Prof. Edward Dua Agyemang , and addressed to Mr Domelevo gave him two days from the day he received the letter to account for the imprest.
Domelevo hits back
But, Mr Domelevo had hit back, saying he did not owe anybody.
“Not even a pesewa is outstanding against me for any advance or imprest that I took for any of my travels,” he stated in a reply to the board chairman.
The decision to write to the Auditor-General who is currently on a long leave, followed an audit into the foreign travels of top management staff of the Ghana Audit Service instituted by the board.
“To ensure prudent use of the Service’s resources as required under Regulation 22 of the Audit Service Regulations, 2011 (C.I. 70), the Audit Service Board contracted K and A Accounting Services to audit the foreign travels of top management staff (Auditor-General and Deputy Auditors-General),” the letter from the board chairman stated.
It indicated that the audit made some revelations against the Auditor-General that needed him to provide explanation.
“The Auditors have since completed the audit and submitted their report to the Board. Records made available show that in March and April 2018 you travelled with George Swanzy Winful to London and The Hague, in addition to your total per-diem allowance of US$1,641.10 you were also given an additional amount of US$4,020 as accountable imprest.”
“The audit report shows that you have not retired the accountable imprest. In accordance with the laid down principle by the Auditor-General in his letter dated April 3, 2019 addressed to the late Mr James Frempong (copy attached), you are required to account for the amount of US$4,020 that was released to you with receipts within two weeks from the date of receipt of this letter,” the letter said.
Two days after the board chairman’s letter, Mr Domelevo sent him a reply, fighting back claims that he had questions to answer over the accountable imprest.
“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.
“That said, not even a pesewa is outstanding against me for any advance or imprest that I took for any of my travels,” he told the board chairman.
Legality of audit
Furthermore, Mr Domelevo reminded Prof. Agyemang that the legality of the audit, which the board conducted was being contested in the highest court of the land.
“I refer to your letter with reference number ASB/01/01/VOL.1/15 dated 30th November, 2020 on the above subject (copy attached) and will like to remind you that the question as to whether or not the audit is even legal, is before the Supreme Court for determination and for which reason your request is clearly contemptuous of the Court per writ number J1/2/2021 titled Daniel Yaw Domelevo v Prof. Edward Dua Agyemang and two others,” the Auditor-General stated.
Besides , Mr Domelevo raised issues with the decision by Prof. Agyemang to hold himself out as chairman of the Audit Service Board when his term had expired.
“I also wonder why you still hold yourself 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,” the letter said.
Not satisfied with the Auditor-General questioning why he still considered himself as board chairman, Prof. Agyeman returned with a letter to Mr Domelevo to prove that he was not acting ultra vires.
He told the Auditor-General that his letter proved that he was ignorant of developments at the Service.
“To expose your ignorance I have enclosed herewith a copy of a letter from the Office of the President renewing my second term as the Chairperson of the Board of the Service effective 17th October, 2020.
“Since the Board's existence is your prime concern and everyday preoccupation, let me reiterate that the second term of the other members of the Board has been equally renewed, “ Prof. Agyemang said.