The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, has asked the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to stop exceeding its jurisdiction by investigating alleged procurement breaches in the Ghana Audit Service.
In a letter, Mr. Domelevo noted that, EOCO no longer had jurisdiction to investigate corruption-related offices.
The investigation centred on the procurement of buses by the service in 2018.
Mr. Domelevo was first invited by EOCO on November 7, 2019, and honoured the invitation seven days later where he provided a caution statement and was granted bail.
But now, referencing the Economic and Organised Crime Act, 2010 (Act 804) as amended by the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959), Mr. Domelevo said he was of the “firm belief that [EOCO] does not have the mandate to investigate any breaches under the Public Procurement Act.”
“In fact, I am advised that the relevant provision in Act 959 which amended Act 804 is section 80 and therein, your office’s mandate to investigate corruption and corruption-related offices, which has been defined to include procurement breaches, has been taken away.”
Mr. Domelevo further said he found the investigation “quite bizarre and unfathomable.”
He also questioned if there was “any hidden or ill motives” behind the investigation which he described as illegal.
Whilst he is open to an investigation into the allegations by the appropriate office, he added that “any continued or further investigation by your office after the receipt of this letter will be fiercely contested, and my lawyers are already in the known and copied in this letter.”
In addition, Mr. Domelovo demanded an apology from EOCO to him and his staff of the Ghana Audit Service.
“I am by this letter asking you and your office to immediately stop the illegal and unlawful investigation of the alleged procurement breach and render an unqualified apology to me and Staff of the Ghana Audit Service within five working days from the date of receiving this letter.”
Stop attacking Auditor General – Economic Fighters League to politicians
Pressure group, Economic Fighters League had earlier cautioned persons trying to discredit the work of the Auditor General through attacks to desist from such practices.
The group gave the caution against the backdrop of intense pressure on the Auditor General for indicting some government officials in its report.
The finding was published in the Auditor General’s report on the public account of Ghana Ministries, Departments and Other Agencies (MDAs) for the financial period ending December 31, 2018.
The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) had called on the Attorney General and the Minister for Justice to investigate the Auditor-General’s department for alleged procurement breaches.
AFAG in a statement said its investigations have revealed that “as far back as 3rd January, 2019, the Board of the Public Procurement Authority, in a letter authored by the Board Secretary informed the Auditor-General of flagrant breaches of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended by the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 914) committed by him.”
Government also descended heavily on the Auditor General recently for indicting the Finance Ministry and the Senior Minister in its audit report.
But the Economic Fighters League called for such attacks to be aborted.
“This statement is to show unreserved support to the Auditor-General, Mr. Daniel Domelevo and the audit service, which has come under intense attack from partisan political hawks recently, including through a frivolous petition to EOCO against the Auditor-General.”
The group further said that if the government was serious about fighting public sector corruption, “it would not allow a hardworking Auditor-General like Daniel Domelevo to be attacked and discredited.”
“We encourage the Auditor-General to stand firm and not be intimidated and to do his work without fear or favour. The nation is solidly behind him,” the statement added.