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Auditor General’s office to enhance oversight of projects in counties

By Abdullah Kunow | Published Sat, December 16th 2017 at 00:00, Updated December 15th 2017 at 23:15 GMT +3
Auditor General Edward Ouko

In summary

  • Devolved units accused of widespread mismanagement of public resources
  • Ouko says with more funds being allocated to the grassroots, it’s prudent to monitor expenditure

?The Auditor General will enhance its oversight of projects and programmes in counties to ensure prudent use of resources.

With more money being allocated to the counties, Auditor General Edward Ouko called for closer supervision and monitoring to ensure the taxpayer gets value for money.

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“It is not only about auditing and compiling a report, but ensuring resources that go into programmes and projects impacts positively on the mwananchi,” Ouko said.

He was speaking in Garissa on Friday when he opened a regional hub office.

Counties have been accused of misuse and mismanagement of public resources and inflating the cost of projects leading to massive wastage.

“To ensure this does not happen, we are spreading our wings to each and every county by building more offices and posting enough staff. This is one way of ensuring projects are delivered on time and resources better utilised,” said Ouko.

Mr Ouko termed the Garissa audit office a landmark, since it is the first to be built by his office.

The Sh160 million two-storey building took 18 months to be completed.

“We have demonstrated through this project that public money can be prudently utilised and projects delivered on time,” Ouko said.

The Auditor General said there are plans to build similar offices in Kakamega and Eldoret. Land for the projects has already been acquired, he added.

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Ouko regretted that all audit offices are rented, including the headquarters.

He said ‘it was unfortunate that countries like Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan who look on Kenya as an economic power house in the region have built offices ahead of Kenya.

“Even southern Sudan that got independence the other day has an office block for the Auditor General,” he said.

North Eastern Regional Commissioner Mohamud Saleh challenged the office of the Auditor General to closely monitor devolved funds.

Saleh said despite the fact that Garissa, Wajir and Mandera counties had received more than Sh30 billion annually since devolution came into force, ‘there little to write home about’.

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