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General News of Tuesday, 30 June 2020


Audit Service Board Chair blames Domelevo for proceed-on-leave directive but law experts disagree

Daniel Domelevo has been asked to take his accumulated 123 days leave Daniel Domelevo has been asked to take his accumulated 123 days leave

Board Chairman of the Audit Service, Prof Duah Agyeman, has reportedly said Daniel Domelevo is to blame for an Executive Order directing him to take his accumulated leave.

The Board Chairman of the Audit Service, Prof Duah Agyeman, told Accra-based Joy FM that the board was left with no choice but to push President Nana Akufo-Addo to issue the directive.

“What happened in this situation is that we had discussed leave schedules for all staff, and when it came to the Auditor General we asked him when is he ready to go on leave.

“He said we cannot ask him to go on leave because we did not appoint him, so anytime we told him to go on leave he will say he will not go because we did not appoint him so now it is the appointing authority who has asked him to go,” a news item carried by Joy FM quoted Prof Agyeman.

Prof Agyeman’s views are similar to that of anti-graft campaigner and former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mr Vitus Azeem, who has said it is unfortunate on the part of Mr Domelevo has been forced to take his accumulated 123 leave days.

According to him, knowing what the labour law says, Mr Domelevo should have acted and taken his annual leave and not to have allowed it to accumulate.

He also questioned why the board of the Audit Service waited to allow the period to accumulate before raising issues with his failure to go on leave.

However, law Professor, Henry Kwasi Prempeh, has said the relationship between the President and the Auditor-General cannot be interpreted as a mere employer-employee relationship “as opposed to a relationship of high substance and consequence mediated by the Constitution and the principles emanating from that document.”

“The mere fact that the President ‘appoints’ a certain constitutional officeholder, who, like every other occupant of a public office, is paid from public funds, does not thereby create between the two a simple employer-employee relationship in which the President is the employer and the other the employee.

“Otherwise, what is to stop the President from ordering, say, a Chief Justice or an EC or a CHRAJ Commissioner or Chair to proceed on accumulated leave or do any other act that employers ordinarily can command their employees to do? I doubt that the Constitution makes, or intended to make, a President Employer-General of all holders of public office in this land,” he said in a Facebook post.

Prof Stephen Kweku Asare who is a Fellow in Public Law and Justice at CDD-Ghana has also stated that the Auditor-General cannot be forced to either take or forfeit his leave.

“The law is abundantly clear that the AG’s right to leave of absence cannot be varied to his disadvantage. The reason for the law is to protect his independence,” he also wrote on Facebook.

According to Prof Asare, “there must be a compelling reason to force the AG to take his leave. His leave conditions must be determined by the more specific Audit Service Act, not the general Labour Act (generaliaspecialibus non derogant).”

He further stated that considering the fact that certain actions of the Auditor General seem to be clashing with the Executive, “any attempts to remove the AG will offend the separation of powers, constitutionalism and the growing of our institutions.”

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