The Honorary Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons is of the view that no Auditor General is a match to immediate past occupant of the office, Daniel Domelevo in terms of performance.
According to Mr Simons, the former Auditor General who was forced out of office this year, went after the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, on the $1m Kroll payment, thus setting a bar beyond what his predecessors and successor have accomplished.
Speaking on JoyNews‘ Newsfile, Saturday, Bright Simons said, “Mr Domelevo set a bar that has not been met. He went after the Seniormost Minister and he said I’m going to disallow this Kroll because you did not follow standards.
“The Senior Minister won a technicality around natural justice and fair hearing and things like that. The substantive matter still remains important,” he added.
Mr Simon’s comment comes at a time when President Akufo-Addo has compared the performance of Mr Daniel Domelevo to that of the acting Auditor General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu. it also comes after the Audit Service released its 2020 Auditor General’s report.
During a meeting with the Ghana National Anti-Corruption Coalition members at the Jubilee House, the President stated that Mr Asiedu has surpassed expectations in his functions at the office, which are ‘unheard of.’
He went further to say that Mr Asiedu has achieved feats that were not attained by, “even the most touted Auditor General before him never managed to do it [12 statutory reports placed before Parliament in a year], and this one has done it.
“I think on the basis of the work that he has done, the independence with which he has gone around with his work, if today, efforts are made to confirm him, I believe it should be done, and that confirmation process will gather more public support,” the President said.
Touching on the 2020 Auditor’s General report, Mr Simons accused the Audit Service of political colouration in carrying out its mandate.
This, he said, has resulted in the Audit Service not tackling controversial matters engaged in by public service institutions.
“This tendency of this particular Audit Service regime; the 2020 regime not to get involved in controversial matters because they have a political colouration of some kind. We have concerns about this tendency to shy away from tackling political issues,” he stated.
He named the Electoral Commission, National Lottery Authority and Ghana Airports Company Limited as part of the institutions the recent report failed to discuss thoroughly.
“We’ve delved deeply into National Lottery Authority. Joy FM did investigations, we saw some of those reports. We have far more data on that. Huge irregularities at National Lottery Authority, huge loses. None of that is mentioned in the section on the National Lottery Authority.
“We have done extensive studies on the Electoral Commission, by far the most abusive of all the state institutions in the county, to the point where repeatedly, they are not audited because they refuse to give you the information.
“We know for sure that they bought devices in 2018/19. They came to tell people in Ghana that millions of dollars spent on these devices have not been spent at all. That in fact, they have not bought devices since 2011. We knew that to be false. Where is the asset audit of the Electoral Commission,” he explained extensively.
According to him, if those at the Audit Service are “going to shy away from politically sensitive matters, you have no duty in audit.”
On March 3, 2021, President Akufo-Addo officially retired Daniel Yao Domelevo.
In a letter signed by Nana Asante Bediatuo Wednesday, the Secretary to the President said, “the attention of the President of the Republic has been drawn to records and documents made available to this Office by the Audit Service, that indicate that your date of birth is June 1, 1960, and that in accordance with article 199 (1) of the Constitution, your date of retirement as Auditor-General was June 1, 2020.”
It added that Johnson Akuamoa-Asiedu will continue to act as Auditor-General until the President appoints a substantive head.