We can only go higher, says new Auditor General Nancy Gathungu as she assumes office

Former Auditor General Edward Ouko has officially handed over to Nancy Gathungu (pictured left) as Kenya’s new Auditor General.

Gathungu was all praise for Ouko, saying that he had raised the bar.

“We can only go higher from where you have left us. There is no going back,” she said during the handover ceremony at Anniversary Towers on Thursday.

Gathungu expressed her readiness to make the Auditor General’s office better than she found it to meet the expectations of the country.

“I will build on your legacy and ensure that we continue developing and upscaling our auditing services to meet the needs of the people and stakeholders,” she added.

Her tenure, she says, will be anchored on four pillars among them independence, credibility, relevance and accountability.

Gathungu, who was sworn in last Friday said that the first order of business would be to prioritise the backlog of audits, occasioned by the delay in naming Ouko’s replacement.

"Owing to the gap that existed between Ouko’s exit and my assuming of office, I strive to clear the audit backlog as soon as possible so that entities can call their annual general meetings, development partners can get feedback on the spending of projects they support and for Kenyans to know how their resources are managed,” she said.

She promised to work in consultation with other arms of government to guarantee Kenyans accountability and safeguard the independence of her office.

“We will look up to the Judiciary, Parliament and the Executive to safeguard the independence of the office,” said Gathungu.

Gathungu will now serve an eight-year-term as Auditor General. Her conferment comes at a time when offices around the world are undergoing changes due to the coronavirus pandemic and will be interesting to see how she will run business.

She is now tasked with tackling a number of pending audit queries, some stretching back to 2014, including the multi-billion Eurobond.

Gathungu was the Director of Quality Assurance under Ouko. Between 2011 and 2015, she acted as the Auditor General’s personal assistant.