- Article 226 (4) of the Constitution provides that the accounts of the OAG be audited by a professionally qualified accountant appointed by the National Assembly.
- Accounts for the years 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 and beyond remain unaudited.
- House Clerk Michael Sialai said there has been frustration as bidders have failed to submit relevant tender documents and because of conflict of interest.
Auditor-General Edward Ouko is concerned that the National Assembly is yet to hire a qualified external auditor to report on the accounts of his office, with less than six months to the end of his eight-year tenure.
As he complained before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday, House Clerk Michael Sialai told the team chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi that the process had been frustrating.
The Auditor-General audits and reports on the accounts of national government ministries, departments, commissions, independent offices, parastatals and county governments.
In turn, article 226 (4) of the Constitution provides that the accounts of this office be audited by a professionally qualified accountant appointed by the National Assembly.
The accounts of the office of the AG for the years 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 and beyond remain unaudited.
Mr Sialai said there has been frustration as bidders have failed to submit relevant tender documents and because of conflict of interest.
“We have been unable to procure the services of an audit firm on account of non-responsiveness and conflict of interest. It has been a disservice to the OAG that its accounts have not been audited,” Mr Sialai told the committee, which acts as an advisory authority in the recruitment process.
Mr Ouko appealed to the MPs not to read too much into the technicality of conflict of interest, saying it would only delay the process further and lock out firms that have been doing business with his office.
“The issue of conflict of interest must be looked at in the sense that if someone has worked for the OAG, that should not be an issue. It could be the reason why reputable firms are keeping off because they do a lot of business with us,” he said.
Though MPs have no issue finding a reputable firm from any commonwealth country, they were uncomfortable with Mr Ouko’s choice of the supreme audit firm of Liberia after he admitted that he audits the country’s audit office.
Their fear was that “friendly audits" could be the result.