More than 2,600 persons have signed a petition urging the President, Nana Akufo-Addo to reverse his directive ordering the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo to proceed on annual leave.
The lead petitioners said there is no legal basis for the decision by the President.
They also argued that the leave directive prevents Mr. Domelevo from plugging the leakages in public finance and will erode the public confidence in the government’s commitment to fighting corruption.
While the online petition has already attracted over 2,600 signatories, a group of 1,000 Ghanaians in Ghana and abroad have signed a physical petition presented to the Presidency on the matter.
They note that, the President’s directive, issued in a letter dated 30th June 2020, renders the Auditor-General, an independent constitutional officer mandated with auditing the accounts of all Ghanaian public institutions, incapable of performing his duties.
“We wish to point out that since the alleged “mandatory” annual leave entitlement of a worker under the Labour Act is 15 days per annum, it is curious that the Presidency has nevertheless ordered the Auditor-General to take his full accumulated leave entitlement under his terms and conditions of employment (which has been variously stated as 123 or 167 days). We question why, if there is genuine concern for the wellbeing of the Auditor-General, and a genuine concern to conform with the Labour Act, that the request for him to take leave has not been limited to the statutory minimum of 15 days per annum,” the petition states.
“We question how the public is expected to consider such a decision as made in good faith, in circumstances where the Auditor-General is essentially being asked to make himself well “rested and refreshed” for the commencement of his retirement. Mr. Domelevo’s absence during this 167 day period would mean he will not be able to actively execute his Constitutionally-prescribed role as protector of the public purse during the crucial 6 month period before the general election, a period which has historically been characterised by increased risks of misuse of public funds,” the petition added.
“We urge you to consider our letter, review your decision, and revoke the directive to the Auditor General forthwith. We urge you to do so without requiring this matter to be challenged in Court, which would simply lead to increased concern and uncertainty over this matter and over status of the office of Auditor-General.”