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The Public Financial Management (PFM) Network Ghana is deeply concerned about recent developments at the Audit Service and its implication for good corporate governance vis-à-vis the mandate of protecting the public purse. For the Auditor-General and the Chairman of the Board to be trading such allegations and counter-allegations in the manner and form it has taken gives a cause to worry as to how maximum cooperation for high organizational performance is being affected.
We further observe that, in recent past, we have not seen such a strong-willed Auditor-General who possesses the public courage and sense of urgency in pursuit of his responsibilities as we have seen with Mr. Daniel Domelovo. His leadership and appreciation of the public sentiments of expecting practical results in safeguarding the public purse is what inspires confidence within civil society groups like the PFM Network Ghana and the citizens at large. Such strong personality is needed and timely for strengthening and rebuilding an institution such as the Audit Service.
Thus, when attempts are made using corporate governance structures such as Board-CEO relations to trade allegations and use media houses as tools to advance one’s position, it is the institution of the Audit Service that suffers a further dent and battered image. Excerpts of Mr. Domelovo’s petition show a man who is detailed in his submission of proof and evidence to back his claims, and gives any independent observer a justification to believe and back his assertions.
We therefore call on Board to respect the boundaries of corporate governance as it pertains to its workings with Management of the Ghana Audit Service headed by the Auditor-General. As we await the outcome of the Committee set up to investigate, we appeal to the President to ensure a holistic and well-grounded recommendations to not only address the Board-Management relations of the Audit Service, but also serve as guidance for other state agencies.
The role of the Auditor-General and his service in safeguarding the public purse, especially across the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, where in 2016 and 2017 over US$30million of financial irregularities were uncovered, cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, it requires the fullest support and confidence by the citizenry.
As a reminder, the basic thing an auditor needs to function properly is independence, therefore we support any attempt to give more independence to the auditor general whiles delineating his role from board chair and members. The Laws must be made to set this right as espoused in the 1992 Constitution (187, 7a) and Audit Service Act (Section 11 and 4).
Charles Othniel Abbey
020 456 8635