Directive to proceed on accumulated leave taken in bad faith – Auditor-General

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President Nana Akufo-Addo, based on sections 20 (1) and 31 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) which apply to all workers, including public office holders such as the Auditor-General had directed Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo (Auditor-General) to proceed on his accumulated leave of 123 days.

A statement released by the office of the Presidency, signed by the Direct of Communications at the Presidency, directed the Auditor General to proceed with his accumulated leave, starting the 1st of July 2020. Further, the statement directed the Auditor General to hand over all matters relating to his office to the Deputy Auditor-General, Mr Johnson Akuamoah Aseidu.  He will then act as the Auditor General for the next 123 days.

Upon the direction given by the President, Mr Domelevo has proceeded on leave but has urged the President to reconsider his decision. In a three-page letter addressed to the Secretary of the President, Mr Bediatuo Asante, the Auditor General emphasized that though he has proceeded on the leave as directed by the President, he finds the directive as unconstitutional and not in the best interest of the Auditor-General and for that matter, the country.

He stated, “I think it necessary, however, to bring to the attention of the high office of the President a few matters relevant to our constitutional governance, due process and the rule of law… My knowledge of recent labour law and practice in the country is that no worker is deemed to have accumulated any leave on account of their having failed, omitted, neglected or even refused to enjoy their right to annual leave, which the law guarantees for their benefit, not the employer.”

“To the best of my knowledge, therefore, wherein any given year a worker fails, omits, neglects or even refuses to take their annual leave, such leave is deemed forfeited with no corresponding obligation on the part of the employer to enforce the worker’s right to take their leave by assuming, deeming or declaring the forfeited leave, accumulated.”

Mr Domelevo drew the attention of the President to other public officials who have many days of pending annual leave days, and thus, finds the action of the President as been taken in bad faith. He noted, “the office must have been aware also that several appointees of the President, have not, since the year 2017 taken their annual leave to date.” “The direction, therefore that I proceed on leave, oblivious of the other workers similarly circumstanced, gives the impression that the decision is not taken in good faith.”

In conclusion, the Auditor-General urges the President to reconsider his decision to protect the sanctity of the labour law, the Constitution and the independence of the Auditor-General, which he believes is the utmost importance in so far as ensuring that the constitutional principles of probity, transparency, and accountability are concerned.

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