President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged members of Public Accounts Committees (PACs) across Africa to foster transparency to ensure prudent use of public resources.
The President expressed the need for PACs to come up with legal mechanisms to ensure public officers are accountable to citizens.
“Upon your work, rests the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Africans across the continent. Your work must be above reproach. You must be reasonable servants led by the laws of your respective lands” the Head of State said.
President Kenyatta spoke Monday at a Nairobi hotel when he opened the second annual general meeting of the African Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPA).
He urged members of the committees, who are all parliamentarians, to rise above partisan considerations while discharging their duties.
“The work you do is not for the benefit of the opposition but citizens of your respective countries. Cross border projects will only succeed where PACs did their work effectively,” the President said.
President Kenyatta signalled concern over the accountability of foreign financial aid and donations and the relationship between PACs and Supreme Audit Institutions.
On foreign financial aid and donations, the Head of State said PACs should provide an effective process of public financial accountability, a strong tool of quality financial governance that would ensure proper utilization of aid resources.
He noted that there has always been an issue of whether foreign governments and development partners would trust domestic accountability mechanisms and provide support for the strengthening of local institutions charged with the responsibility or not.
“You all appreciate that in cases where development partners demand compliance with separate, ‘external’ accountability processes, there is a risk that the requirements of the foreign governments and partners may usurp domestic accountability processes,” said President Kenyatta.
On the relationship between PACs and the Supreme Audit Institutions, President Kenyatta called for the strengthening of the mechanisms of interaction which have a strong bearing on accountability issues.
“I believe this conference provides us with the opportunity for a fruitful exchange to produce actionable lessons for us all,” the President said.
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso called on National Parliaments to enact laws that promote accountability in public financial expenditure.
Other speakers were the German Agency for International Co-operation (GIZ) Country Director Hendrik Linneweber and the Chair of Public Accounts Committee and Head of African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC) Nicolas Gumbo.