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December 14, 2018

Heighten your game, Ouko tells auditors

The Auditor General Edward Ouko at Whitesands Hotel during the 16th Annual Conference of Internal Auditors of Kenya. Photo/JOHN CHESOLI
The Auditor General Edward Ouko at Whitesands Hotel during the 16th Annual Conference of Internal Auditors of Kenya. Photo/JOHN CHESOLI




Theft of public funds will continuously be exposed including those happening in the national security docket.

Auditor General Edward Ouko said yesterday his office was probing the use of funds in dockets where auditing was barred.

In February, High Court judge Chacha Mwita declared Section 40 of Public Audit Act inconsistent with the Constitution.

That declaration allowed Ouko to audit the expenditure of billions of shillings allocated to the Department of Defence, the National Intelligence Service and the National Police Service.

Yesterday, Ouko told the Star that his office had  previously encountered challenges in auditing the three departments because they had been labelled “confidential.”

“It limited our work. But we are now finding a way of auditing the departments even as we remain conscientious of national security which must be guarded,” Ouko said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing 16th Annual Conference of the Institute of Internal Auditors of Kenya at Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa.

Ouko asked all institutions mandated with the protection of public resources to work together citing goodwill from the executive.

“The President has set the goodwill and the tone. We can see the concern because everybody, including the media, is talking about corruption. We need to heighten our game," Ouko said.



, in other words we need to do our work in a profound way, such that we aid each other,” said Ouko.

He said the internal auditors should do their work in a profound way.

The internal auditors’ work can be taken by the auditor general, who can then work on it to inform the Director of Public Prosecution as well as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the prosecutorial systems to take action.

At the same time, Ouko said his office is slowly expanding in all the 47 counties after the National Assembly increased its resources.

Initially, Ouko has complained that his office had no capacity to audit all the government offices because of little number of staff and less budgetary allocation.

“The situation has tremendously improved and in the current budget the parliamentarians have increased my resources a little bit more. These resources have enabled me to employ additional more staff,” he said.

“However, we can never be satisfied, we are still fighting for more resources.

He said there are still a lot of challenges they are facing.

“My office is not in every county; the other thing is to make sure in the near future at least my office is nearer to the counties. The nearer I’m, maybe it will be more preventative,” he said.

Currently, he said they are building an office in Garissa to cover the northern region and are trying to put another office in Kakamega and Eldoret.


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