PIC wants new law on Auditor General

National Assembly Public Investment Committee Chairman Abdulswamad Nassir consults his members during their meeting with the NSSF board at Parliament. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]
A parliamentary committee now wants the law on the appointment of the Auditor General changed to ensure continuity in the office whenever the position falls vacant.

The Public Investment Committee (PIC) has protested that the continued absence of a substantive office holder has hampered submission of audited reports for many government agencies and corporations, some of which are now in breach of the set constitutional timelines.

The committee on Thursday tabled a request by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) asking to be allowed to submit its audited financial statements beyond the constitutionally required time of three months after the close of the financial year, citing the absence of the Auditor General.

PIC chairman Abdulswamad Nassir tabled the committee’s report, saying that though the CBK’s financial statements for 2018/2019 had been audited, they had not been signed and certified by the Auditor General as required by law, before being presented to the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary. 

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In its report, PIC is now recommending an amendment to the Public Audit Act to ensure succession management.

“Such an amendment should tacitly provide that the recruitment of an auditor general should be concluded within three months of the expiry of the term of the predecessor,” said the report.

The report noted that the challenge is not unique to CBK but also hinders a number of agencies whose accounts ought to have been audited at least three months after the close of the financial year in June.

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They include the Capital Markets Authority, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Kenya Power, KenGen and East African Portland Cement.

Edward Ouko’s term ended on August 27 and the selection panel appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to find his successor completed the process only this week.

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Three names have been forwarded to the President to pick a nominee and send to Parliament for vetting.

Only a substantive holder of the position can sign the audited reports.

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Auditor GeneralPublic Investment CommitteeCentral Bank of Kenya