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05.07.2020 Feature Article

Has Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo Something to Hide hence Refusing to Take his Accumulated Annual Paid Holiday? – Time will Tell

Has Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo Something to Hide hence Refusing to Take his Accumulated Annual Paid Holiday? – Time will Tell
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Following the unwillingness of Auditor-General Daniel Yao Domelevo to take his accumulated annual leave, coupled with some learned but unfortunately, educated-illiterates, supportively insisting that he stays put without succumbing to the President's directive to him to proceed on leave to deplete his accumulated paid annual holiday, I have decided to wade in to have a say in the ongoing brouhaha.

Prior to presenting my submission, may I ask interested Ghanaians to peruse the points on good accounting practices as enumerated below and as may be of some relevance in the matter relating to Mr Domelevo.

"Internal control accounting systems are the policies and procedures used to ensure accuracy and reliability across accounting reports to:

•Prevent fraud

•Control risk

•Proactively identify financial issues

•Protect resources (both tangible and intangible) from theft and waste

•Operate efficiently

•Generate timely, reliable reporting

•Measure progress towards business objectives and goals

•Comply with applicable laws and regulations

•Secure outside funding

•Reassure investors

My senior brother in Canada, who was an accountant in Ghana, gave me a bit of tutorials on good accounting practices. Therefore, for the sake of public readers and to justifying this publication, I decided to become a little curious but improvised accountant for a few minutes. Crosschecking some of what he told me on the internet to ascertain the veracity of his professional assertions, I have come out with confirmation result as indicated above. How I wish he could publish his views for public consumption but unlike me, he likes talking but not writing.

He said, it is a good accounting practice for one to proceed on his annual leave for another person to step in his shoes while he is on leave. How can you detect, if say, an accountant, and for better explanation, the Auditor-General Mr Daniel Domelevo, is committing fraud himself, if nobody does his work while he goes on holiday? If he remains in his post permanently, without ever proceeding on annual leave, will he not be covering up his illegal tracks, or will it not be very difficult for any accounting malfeasances he may be committing, if he is committing any at all, to be detected?

However, if he goes on his annual leave as required by law, another person standing in for him while he is on leave, will be able to detect if he has been committing fraud of any kind.

Ghanaians always make mistakes. Nonetheless, we are never willing to change, although we are very much aware of the fact that we do make mistakes, and the same mistakes of course. Once they claim someone is honest, they never even want to subject that person to any test to prove his or her honesty. Did King Duncan in Macbeth not say, " there's no art to find the mind's construction in the face", meaning there's no way of telling what's in a man's mind? He said this after he had been told that the Thane of Cawdor, the gentleman on whom he had built complete trust, has been executed for his crimes of treason.

Much the same way, how can we ascertain the honesty and incorruptibility of the Auditor-General Mr Daniel Domelevo, if he does not take his annual leave as they accrue but leaves them to accumulate? The Ghana Labour Law states in Section 31 under "Agreement to forgo leave to be void", thus:

31. Any agreement to relinquish the entitlement to annual leave or to forgo such leave is void.

Let me take time here to explain the stated law to the public, most of whom are laymen in the legal profession. I shall only do so by defining four words – relinquish, entitlement, forgo and void.

Relinquish means "to renounce or let go (a possession, right, etc.)

Entitlement means "the fact of having a right to something"

Forgo means "go without (something desirable)"

VOID means "having no legal force or effect; not legally binding or enforceable"

The quoted Labour Law in plain English can be paraphrased as "Any agreement to let go your right to annual leave or go without it has no legal force". This means, you SHALL have to take your annual paid holiday leave as it accrues. This law is binding on all public servants except those in the security, thus the police, soldiers, etc. There is nothing like picking and choosing. You cannot say you don't like to go on leave or you want to lose your annual holiday. No, there is no choice here but to take it. Neither the employer nor the employee can decide otherwise on the compulsory annual paid holiday.

Therefore, for Auditor-General Daniel Domelove, a senior public servant, to insist that it is unconstitutional and a breach of law for the President to direct him to proceed on his accumulated annual leave gives cause for discerning Ghanaians to start to doubt his integrity. Why does he not want to take his annual leave in the first place? Has he not been flouting both the Labour law and his accounting good practices regulations with regard to "Comply with applicable laws and regulations" as stated under the " Internal control accounting systems"?

How can someone who does not respect the very laws governing his employment, be said to be credibly anti-corrupt? He who abuses his powers for disclosed or undisclosed reasons is equally as corrupt as anyone who indulges in malfeasances.

My brother told me a lot but in order not to bore my readers with any lengthy story and analyses to proving Mr Domelevo wrong for failing to take his accumulated annual leave in the first place let alone, challenge the President's order to him to proceed on leave, I will settle on the little already said above.

He must be indulging in certain illegal activities that the public is not aware of hence his fear that he will be exposed should anyone step in to do his job when he goes on holiday. What authority has he to order that he who replaces him while he is on holiday should not be allowed to sit on the Auditors Board Meeting?

I am beginning to suspect that he has something to hide and the truth will only be known when he is on holiday. If he has nothing to hide, why the fuss he is making about the order to him to go on leave in accordance with the law and the Constitution of Ghana?

It is compulsory for every Ghanaian public worker to take their annual leave. Why does he not want to take his? He has already flouted the Ghana Constitution if I should be honest with him. Therefore, he is similitude of "the pot saying to the kettle you are dark", should he have the audacity to blame the President of breach of law by simply directing him to take his accumulated annual leave.

Who in the workplace in Ghana is permitted to allow employees to accumulate their annual leave and for how long?

I wonder who his lawyers and advisors are. Are his lawyers that good in the legal profession? Do they know and understand the laws of the land, or they are the usual NDC lawyers who are not worth their salt hence cannot interpret simple laws?

For efficient work to be done, a good accounting practice demands that accountants within an accounting firm should be capable of doing one another's job without waiting to be retrained before ably to do someone's job when that person goes on leave or dies. They should very often be rotated among the various branches so that anyone can easily do any job he or she is called to do in the event of emergency. Why is Mr Domelevo trying to prevent anyone to deputise for him but choosing to stay put? I smell a rat!

Rockson Adofo

Sunday, 5 July 2020

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