17 shortlisted for Auditor General job

In Summary

• At least 17 people have been shortlisted for the Auditor General’s job.

• The 17, two women and 15 men were among the 70 applicants who sent their credentials to be considered for the job.

Outgoing Auditor General Edward Ouko.
Outgoing Auditor General Edward Ouko.
Image: FILE

A total of 17 people have been shortlisted for the Auditor General job.

The 17, two women and 15 men, were among 70 applicants who sent their credentials to be considered for the job.

The shortlisted candidates list was released on Friday. 

It includes Idris Abdi Abdullahi, William Otieno Agunda, Nancy Kabui Gathungu, David Obwaya Gichana , Edwin Kipkoech Kamar and David Muchoki Kanja.

Others are Dennis Theuri Kariuki, Sylvester Ngei Kiini , Dr Peter Kitonyo, Dr Lari Leonard Rang’ala, Elizabeth Wangui Mwathi , Francis Kigo Njenga  and Meshack Obiero Onyango .

Moses Edwin Owuor, Alex Nthiga Rugera , Joseph Masambu Talula and Calistus Wekesa Waswa are among the finalists expected to undergo vetting.

The applicants are expected to face the panel between October 22 and October 25.

The successful candidate will take over the mantle from Edward Ouko, who exited office in August  after completing his eight-year term as Auditor General.

Though Ouko left office without a successor, the Public Audit Act has no clear provisions for transition unless the previous office holder dies, resigns, or is removed.

Ouko faulted this arrangement, saying that other than creating a void in the crucial office, it does not guarantee a proper handover.

He said urgent audits cannot be done in the absence of a substantive auditor.

 

Ouko left office with his head high. But his tenure was not without low moments.

His lowest moment was when there was an attempt to remove him for allegedly failing to follow procurement rules in an audit vault tender.

One of his worst experiences was when MPs sought to continue with his impeachment after the DPP cleared him of wrongdoing.

The petition, he said, was grounded on "fiction and misplaced perceptions" that he worked at the behest of the opposition.

“I was extremely disappointed that the very people who were supposed to protect me turned to roast me. We thank God that reason prevailed.”

Another low moment was the accusation that OAG officers took bribes to issue favourable reports.

“We have maintained a professional line but you cannot be oblivious of the political environment. We must respect parliamentarians as the people’s representatives.”

On the remarks by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Eurobond, Ouko said it did not cross his mind that the comment was targeting him.

“The President spoke his mind as any Kenyan would. People read a lot into the message. My take was that I need to put the situation correctly and in perspective,” he said.

Ouko was also threatened and the incidents were reported to the police.

The outgoing Auditor General told journalists that there is a need to amend the Public Audit Act to provide a clear transitional procedure.

He suggested the creation of an Oversight Board comprised of chairs of the parliamentary accountability committees with the specific mandate of handling matters concerning the OAG.

The team should be charged with allocating resources for the office, the appointment of an auditor for OAG, and to take control of the recruitment of the auditor general.

“I am leaving office. Who is going to sign reports? It demoralises staff who are working knowing there is no one who will sign the reports. No report will be usable if not signed by the auditor general,” Ouko said.

He was concerned that there will be a void in the office yet the law is clear that the office shall be vacant every eight years.