RIGHT ON TIME

New Auditor General must ensure reports are timely, not ancient history

In Summary

• Report for the financial year 2017/2018 identifies Sh16 billion of unsupported expenditure.

• Under the Constitution, the AuditorGeneral serves a single eight-year term in office.

Auditor General Edward Ouko during the Kenya state cooperation workshop in Nairobi yesterday.
Auditor General Edward Ouko during the Kenya state cooperation workshop in Nairobi yesterday.
Image: ENOS TECHE

The report of the Auditor General for 2017-2018 has just been released (see P4/5). 

The headline news is that the report identifies Sh16 billion of unsupported expenditure in that financial year but the real news is that the reports of the Auditor General are now effectively up-to-date.

In the past, the reports of the Auditor General tended to be so many years in arrears that they seemed like ancient history. It hardly seemed worth pursuing the miscreants when matters were so far in the past.

 

In August, Edward Ouko left office after completing his eight-year term as Auditor General. He complained that not enough was being done to pursue the anomalies that he had identified over the years.

Reports were, in effect, gathering dust.

But he himself made a huge contribution to bringing accountability to Kenya by ensuring that his audit reports were timely. No longer can they be dismissed as out-of-date and irrelevant.

The challenge to his successor as Auditor General is to make certain that audits of public expenditure continue to come out in good time. This is a necessity for the private sector. It should be the same for the public sector.

Quote of the day: "A silent idea is louder than a spoken word."

Agostinho Neto
The first president of Angola died on  September 10, 1979