The government has resorted to communist inferior tactics to cow the hard-fighting Auditor General, Mr. Daniel Yao Domelevo, into submission.
The plot is to have the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) go after the Auditor General and create the impression that the man currently hitting hard at public office holders over misappropriation and misapplication of public funds, is, after all, not genuine and honest.
In a clear hounding machination, the EOCO says that a private citizen has lodged a complaint against Mr. Domelevo and his deputy in charge of Finance and Administration, Mrs. Roberta Assiamah-Appiah, as well as the Audit Service Board, accusing them of circumventing the procurement laws to procure some vehicles for the Audit Service.
Mr. Domelevo was seen as having held the tail of the lion with his probe into how some $1million was paid to Kroll Associates, a foreign consultancy company.
The lead character in that payment is the Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo.
Kroll Associates is alleged to have received money for no work done at the Ministry of Finance for consultancy services.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo has
been surcharged over $1million for entering into an agreement with a foreign
company without following due process.
Mr. Domelevo revealed on Joy FM Super Morning Show yesterday that the Senior Minister has 60 days to go to court to seek an order setting aside his directive.
He said Mr. Osafo-Maafo’s reply to his queries over a government contract with Kroll Associates UK to provide consultancy services was unsatisfactory.
Using a single-source procurement process, Kroll Associates, UK Ltd was contracted in 2017 to “review electronic evidence, identify assets abroad and manage a joint Civil and Criminal Assets recovery process.”
By September 2018, over $1million equivalent to ¢4.86 million was made to the company as full payment for its services.
But the Auditor-General has challenged the arrangement. He explained that by Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, the contract required parliamentary approval because it involved a foreign company.
“We are waiting for such parliamentary approval to come,” he said.
His demand for proof of work done by Kroll Associates UK has also not been satisfied, he said. “We want evidence of work being done” not “assurances,” the Auditor-General insisted.
The letter from the Senior Minister indicated some examples of asset-tracing work done and also refused to reveal others, explaining they are “classified security matters.”
He also questioned the validity of a letter from the Senior Minister to show the contract also had approval from the Public Procurement Authority.
“We don’t think they followed the procurement process,” he said.
Mr. Domelevo explained that, contrary to the Public Procurement Authority Act, the letter showed approval was given by PPA Management. It should have been approved by the Board in line with Section 40 of the Act, he said.
The letter again showed that the purported approval was given to the National Security Secretariat and not the Senior Minister, who entered into the agreement on behalf of government, he indicated.
The ‘approval’ also came two months after the contract had already been signed, he said. The Auditor-General explained, the contract was signed on September 26, 2017, but the purported approval came November 14th, 2017.
“So there are a whole lot of questions,” he said.
The Auditor-General, who enjoys popularity for his fight against corruption, announced: “I have issued a surcharge against the Senior Minister that he should pay the money back.”
Daniel Domelevo said the Senior Minister is yet to respond to the surcharge.
Since the issue involving the Senior Minister was raised, the Auditor-General has known no peace, as there are several attempts to dent his reputation and image.
The so-called EOCO probe is the latest of such Gestapo steps against the Auditor General.
The unshaken Mr. Domelevo however says that the EOCO move is a “storm in a tea cup.”
What is intriguing is the fact that the EOCO would not readily provide the person who petitioned for Mr. Domelevo and the others to be probed.
The petition stated among others that the Audit Service had breached the Procurement Law, Act 663 in the procurement of vehicles worth almost GH¢6.2 million.
The petitioner, therefore, requested the anti-graft agency to conduct thorough investigations into the award of the contract for the supply of the vehicles and to determine whether proper procedures were followed by the Entity Tender Committee (ETC) in procuring them.
“Recommend appropriate sanctions in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, Act 663 as amended,” the petitioner stated.
The grimy agenda against the Auditor General started with a call for his removal by a pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance.
The pressure group threatened to petition President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to remove the Auditor General over what it called procurement breaches at the Audit Service.
It, therefore, asked the Attorney-General to commence criminal investigations into the procurement breaches of the Auditor General and take the necessary actions against him.
Charlotte Osei Revisited
The Akufo-Addo administration has a way of dealing with public officials who are not in its good books.
The former chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Charlotte Osei, was kicked out of office in a similar fashion.
She was also alleged to have breached some procurement processes, leading to the formation of a committee that recommended her removal from office.
The truth of the matter is the government was not comfortable to be working with her as she was called names when the current ruling class was in opposition.
In order to kick her out, the then EC Chairperson was made to look like she was in bed with the National Democratic Congress (NDC).