Boards, CEOs Vis A Vis Corporate Governance

Daniel Yaw Domelevo, Auditor-General 

There is one good thing about the Auditor-General Domelovo brouhaha: it has brought to the front burner the need for a rethink of the so-called absolute independence of the constitutionally guaranteed state institutions.

We must, as a nation, interrogate the critical subject of corporate governance and the constitutionally guaranteed institutions such as the Electoral Commission (EC), the Audit Service, the Commission of Human Rights And Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in the light of recent smelly occurrences in some of these entities.

It is unfortunate that we have as a nation not made adequate efforts at interrogating the worrying matters arising out of the so-called and misused independence of the institutions under review.

The EC under both the previous Chairman, Dr  Kwadwo Afari Gyan and his successor Madam Charlotte Osei, present us with sufficient basis to warrant a national conversation on the abused independence.

In the past couple of months, the issue of the Auditor General vrs Others, such as the Chairman of the Board of the Audit Service, and by extension, all persons who have showed interest in the matter and therefore spoken about it, has been appreciated on the public chart and regrettably for negative reasons.

With the audit chief using his lecture series to react to queries as he savours his ‘untouchable status,’ he is overstretching the issue.

For putting the subject on the spotlight, we have not been spared the angst of the Auditor General whenever opportunities to do so rear their heads and there have been many.

We have observed the unacceptable degeneration of the status of board of directors of state institutions by the Auditor General and his civil society disciples.

Boards, we state unequivocally, are required in the chemistry of state institutions and must be regarded as such; they have important roles to play and so CEOs must be accommodating of them whatever the circumstances. Those who think otherwise cannot be right and should therefore reconsider their stances.

The President who wields the authority to choose whom he deems appropriate to head boards and to be members, does not share that responsibility with anybody, including the Auditor General.

His choice of a former Auditor General to chair the board of the Audit Service should not give Domelovo insomnia; both should work together because, after all, the President did not have to consult him to take that decision.

The Board Chairman too would be asking too much if he demands that the Auditor General seek permission for every trip and to submit accompanying reports thereof. The two should find common grounds to deal with this and stop the public space polemics which tend to aggravate the bad blood which is being exploited by the many killjoys on the public space.

The procurement problems prominent in the matters originating from the bad blood must be looked into given their similarities to what obtained in the EC.

How do we deal with other state agencies under the circumstances? We should have defined unambiguously the thresholds for CEOs because this appears to be the thorny areas.