The Audit Service Board has written to Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo
Auditor-General Accra, the embattled Former Auditor indicating strongly that the Board by constitutional instrument, can make regulations for the effective and efficient administration of the Audit Service, and therefore he must accept the obligations contained in the constitutional instrument.
The Audit Service Board’s reaction came at the heels of a letter it received from Daniel Yaw Domelevo regarding violations of the provisions in the 1992 Constitution, the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), the Audit Service Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 70), the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), and the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended.
Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman, Chairman Audit Service Board indicated that the Board has the mandate to appoint the consultants to audit the specific transactions within the financial management and administration of the Audit Service.
See Audit Service Bord’s Response Below
Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo
Dear Mr. Domelevo,
AUDIT OF FOREIGN TRAVELS OF MANAGEMENT STAFF (2017 TO 2020)
I have received your letter Reference No.AG/18/20/09 dated 28 September, 2020 on the above subject matter.
In your letter you are drawing the attention of the Parliament, the Chairman of the Audit Service Board and the Accounting Firm (K & A Accounting Services, Chartered Accountants) to what you deem to be violations of the provisions of the following:
(a) the 1992 Constitution,
(b) the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584),
(c) the Audit Service Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 70), (d) the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), and (e) the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended.
For the benefit of the recipients of your letter under reference let me refer to the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Acts and Regulations of the Parliament to state the position of the Board.
- Creation of the Audit Service Board (Article 189) (1) There shall be an Audit Service Board which shall consist of:
(a) A chairman and four other members appointed by the President, acting in consultation with the Council of State,
(b) The Auditor-General, (c) The Head of the Civil Service or his representative. 2. Functions of the Board Article 189(3) provides as follows:
The Audit Service Board shall, acting in consultation with the Public Services Commission
– (a) determine the terms and conditions of service of officers and other employees in the Audit Service; and (b) by constitutional instrument make regulations for the effective and efficient administration of the Audit Service.
- Members of the Audit Service Section 2 of the Audit Service Act defines members of the Audit Service (the Service) to include (a) the Auditor-General; and (b) the other persons employed in the Service.
- Corporate governance Regulation 8 of the Audit Service Regulations, 2011 (C.I. 70) provides as follows: (1) The Board is responsible for the Service and is ultimately accountable and responsible for the overall performance of the Service. (Emphasis added).
(2) The Board shall (a) develop a charter of its responsibilities to be disseminated to its stakeholders, and (b) carry out activities that promote and secure its (i) public sector financial management, and (ii) the accountability process of the country.
- Interpretation of public sector financial management Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378) regulation 235 under interpretation, public financial management refers to laws, rules, systems and processes used by the Government to mobilise revenue, allocate public funds, undertake public spending, account for funds and audit results.
- Audit of foreign travels of management staff (2017 to 2020) In accordance with the provisions contained in the Constitutional Instrument C.I. 79 the Board has the obligation to carry out activities that promote and secure its constitutional role in a public sector financial management and the accountability of funds entrusted to the Audit Service.
You may recall that at the Emergency Meeting of the Board held on 16th April, 2o18 the Board requested that the Auditor-General shall submit within 14 days of his return to the country a report to the Board on such official travels.
The Auditor-General shall inform all deputy Auditors-General who travel out of the country that they shall submit a report of such travels to the Bard through the Auditor-General within 14 days of returning to the country.
The Auditor-General and the deputy Auditors-General having willfully failed to comply with the request of the Board, the Board decided to rely on its obligation under regulation 8(2)(b) of L.I. 70 to cause to be audited the funds that the Auditor-General and the deputy Auditors-General have expended in their official foreign travels.
In doing so, the Board also relied on the implied power given by article 297(c) of the Constitution which provides as follows: In this Constitution and any other law:- (c) Where a power is given to a person or authority to do or enforce the doing of an act or a thing, all such powers shall be deemed to be also given as are necessary to enable that person or authority to do or enforce the doing of the act or thing. 7. Audit of the accounts of the Auditor-General (Article 187(15)) Article 187(15) of the Constitution provides that the accounts of the office of the Auditor General shall be audited and reported upon by an auditor appointed by Parliament. (Emphasis added).
Interpretation of public accounts You will agree with me that the accounts of the office of the Auditor-General is public accounts. Section 102 of the Public Financial Management Ac, 2003 (Act 921) interprets public accounts to mean the financial statements, notes and reports pertaining to money received into, held in, and paid from public funds.
That is why the accounts of the office of the Auditor-General referred to in article 187(15) includes financial statements, notes and reports on the accounts.
- Audit of specific transactions in the accounts of the Service. The Board appointed Messrs K & A Accounting Services to audit a specific transaction in the disbursement of the funds of the Audit Service.
That is, to audit the expenditure incurred by the Auditor-General and the deputies Auditors-General on their foreign travels and report to the Board, who is responsible to account and manage the funds of the Service.
Engagement of consultants and experts The Board engaged Messrs K & A Accounting Services, Chartered Accountants of high repute, who have worked for the Auditor-General (Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo) in the past, to perform the audit on its behalf.
The Board engaged the consultants under the powers given to it by section 8 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584). The section provides as follows:
(1) The Board may engage the services of such consultants and other experts as it may consider necessary for the efficient discharge of the duties of the Service.
(2) The consultants and experts shall be engaged on such terms and conditions as the Board may determine. 9. Prudent use of resources of the Service Audit Service Regulations, 2011 (C.I. 70) regulation 22 provides that members of the Service shall ensue that: (a) the system of financial management and internal controls established for the Service is maintained, (b) resources entrusted to them are economically, efficiently and effectively applied in a transparent manner towards the achievement of approved goals and objectives of the Service, and (c) assets of the Service are safeguarded against losses of any kind including abuse, fraud, willful or accidental wastage and destruction.
From the above, I have amply demonstrated that: (i) the Board has the mandate to appoint the consultants to audit the specific transactions within the financial management and administration of the Audit Service, (ii) the consultants were mandated to audit the specific transactions of foreign travels of management staff and not the accounts of the office of the Auditor-General, (iii) since the Auditor-General (Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo) himself has admitted in his letter under reference that the Board by constitutional instrument, can make regulations for the effective and efficient administration of the Audit Service, he should accept the obligations contained in the constitutional instrument.
Finally, I would like to state that it is of utmost importance that the Auditor-General and the deputies Auditors-General obey the laws of this country, as their positions demand, as public office holders, and ensure compliance to assist the consultants to execute their work.
PROF. EDWARD DUA AGYEMAN
CHAIRMAN AUDIT SERVICE BOARD
cc: Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Parliament House, Accra Secretary to the President, Jubilee House, Accra Board Members Audit Service Board, Accra Deputy Auditors-General, Audit Service, Accra Managing Partner K & A Accounting Service, Accra