Tension at CAGD as “Incorruptible”
Nine months after winning power, President Akufo-Addo’s pledge to fight corruption at all levels is fast becoming a mirage, investigations The aL-hAJJ’s reveal.
The President, unknowingly, has been “pushed” to appoint an above-the-age retired Civil Servant as Ghana’s Controller and Accountant General much to the chagrin of CAGD staff.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, a cousin of the President, is alleged to have “persuaded” President Akufo Addo to confirm the appointment of a long-retired Deputy Controller and Accountant General, Mr Eugene Asante Ofosuhene as head of government treasury on May 11 this year to replace a relatively young Seidu Kotomah.
But checks by this paper revealed that Mr Ofosuhene, who joined CAGD in April 1994, formally retired from the Civil Service in 2011 upon attaining the compulsory retirement age of 60 in accordance with article 199 of the 1992 constitution and section 71(1) of the Civil Service Act, 1993 (PNDCL 327).
It is however also being rumored that the new Controller’s date of birth may have been falsified to enable his reengagement into the Civil Service. This paper is still investigating this allegation.
The new Controller and Accountant General, who was also a former CEPS Commissioner, after retiring from the Civil Service took to private practice where he was appointed in October 2012 as Director of F & D Finance and Leasing Limited and later in March the following year as Board Chairman of the same company.
Sources at the Finance Ministry and Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) told this paper that Mr Ofosuhene’s appointment came as surprise to many who knew him as a long retired Civil Servant.
“We knew President Akufo-Addo will replace Seidu Kotomah who was appointed by former president John Mahama, but none of us thought his successor will be a former retired Civil Servant who is over 65 years. It is never done anywhere in the world…it is unhealthy and must not be countenance. The appointment violates the laws of this country and must be revoked immediately,” a deep throat source at the government treasury told The aL-hAJJ.
However, another source at the Finance Ministry who sees nothing wrong with the appointment told this paper that Mr Ofosuhene was appointed on contract in line with the Civil Service Act, “and this is done everywhere in world. The law allows a retired Civil Servant to be hired on contract.”
“Those saying the President erred in appointing Mr Ofosuhene as Controller because he is above 60 years probably must read the Civil Service Act again…what is wrong with the President engaging a retired Civil Servant on contract? Has the IGP not been given a two year contract?” the source quizzed.
But, a Labour Consultant (name withheld) who spoke to The aL-hAJJ, rejected this assertion, insisting; it does not represent the “true position of the law on engaging retired Civil Servants on contract.”
According to the well-known Labour expert, while the Civil Service Act allows the appointing authority to engage retired Civil Servants on contracts, the same law forbids the engagement of persons above 65 years on contract.
“The law is such that when you are a civil servant and you turn 60, the appointing authority can only extend your stay in the Civil Service on limited engagement for two years at a time and not exceeding five years. What this means is that if you are a Civil Servant and you are 65 years, you cannot benefit from the limited engagement as stipulated by the law,” the expert explained.
Section 71(2) of PNDCL 327 provides that “subsection (1) does not prevent the appointment of a person who is more than sixty years of age on a limited engagement for two years at a time not exceeding the age of sixty five years.”
In the case of Mr Ofosuhene, who is reported to be at loggerheads with most heads of department and other senior staff of CAGD, The aL-hAJJ investigations have shown, will be 66 years on October 17 this year, which makes him well-above the stipulated age permissible by law. This is said to have angered staff of CAGD who are demanding that the new Controller’s appointment be revoked immediately or they advise themselves.
Several Attempts to get the Controller for his reaction was unsuccessful as he declined comment on the issue and rather will prefer the Public Relation Officer of CAGD speak to the issue.
Stay tuned for more anon.