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Boards For Sensitive Institutions Needless — Auditor-General   
 
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22-Sep-2018  
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The Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yao Domelevo, has taken aim at the appointment of boards for sensitive state institutions such as the Audit Service.

He advocated the abolition of such boards since they were a recipe for tension and institutional drawback.

He said even countries with better corporate governance reputations had no boards for offices such as the Auditor-General, and in the case of others they only operated advisory boards.

“Sierra Leone, they borrowed our law and when they sent it to Sierra Leone, they made the board advisory. If you go to Kenya, it is an advisory board. If you go to many countries, they don't have it. Go to the US, Britain and find out," he said.

In a no-holds-barred speech at the 3rd Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu?Memorial Lectures at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra last Thursday, Mr Domelevo also spoke against the appointment of heads of former public institutions as board chairmen of such establishments.

He explained that the board chairmen tended to undermine incumbent leadership, which could stifle institutional and national progress.

The lectures, instituted in memory of the late former Finance Minister in the Kufuor adminstration, was on the theme: “Protecting the public purse - Keeping the gate shut before the horse bolts.”

Mr Domelevo said some of the board chairmen saw their appointments as an opportunity to impose themselves on management.

“The practice of bringing back former public servants to their old positions or bringing former chief executives as board members leave much to be desired because clearly there will be conflict. If they bring you back years later as a board member or board chairman, you can easily undermine who is there and so we have to take a second look at this. And some of the board members, even if they are appointed, they think it’s their second coming of Christ; they will not be leaving,” the Auditor-General said.

Mr Domelevo is currently embroiled in disagreement with a former Auditor-General and current board chairman of the Audit Service, Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman.

He has gone ahead to petition President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo over allegations of interference by the board chairman.

people in public service

Mr Domelevo criticised the continuous engagement of ‘old people’ in the public sector.

He said it was counterproductive for old people, some of them over 70 years of age, to be ­occupying positions in the public service when they were supposed to be on retirement.

He rejected suggestions that the retirement age should be increased, explaining that it would compound the unemployment situation in the country.

“Our Constitution said when you are 60 years go home so others can also come and work. People are over 70 and are still around. When I ask them to go home they are fighting me. Change the law if you think the retiring age should be 80. The disturbing part is that our graduates are on the streets and we think we must remain in office,” he said.

He was equally concerned about how some workers who were due for retirement sometimes forged their birth certificates to make them remain young and relevant on the job market.

“At times you would see some public servants and you wonder how many times they would be 60 years. They falsify birth certificates so as to remain young. It is only when they die that you know their true age. The man retires at 60, he dies next year and he is 82. That is what is happening in our country.

“Until we have changed the law, I will continue disturbing them. We are doing a payroll audit and at the end of it you will see my report on over-aged people. I promise that I will activate Article 187 Clause 7(a) on them and disallow their existence on the payroll,” he said to loud applause from the gathering.

Corruption

The oft-spoken canker of corruption would not escape the radar of the Auditor-General who argued that although corruption could be found in developed countries; they made sure that offenders were prosecuted, unlike in developing countries such as Ghana.

“In the developed countries when you’re caught you’re finished; there are consequences. In Ghana or Africa when you’re caught you can even bluff them; they say ‘and so what’ because he knows nothing will happen,” he said.

Insisting that he would never shut his mouth on corruption because he was not a coward, the Auditor-General said he was ready to lose his job by standing up for the truth.

“As for me I will say it; if that means to go home, I’m ready to go home this evening,” he said.
 
 
Source: Graphic.com
 
 

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