The process of identifying a replacement for the retired Auditor-General Edward Ouko went a notch higher when the selection panel led by former Deloitte East Africa Chief Executive Officer Sammy Onyango took oath of office.
President Uhuru Kenyatta last month appointed the panelists who are tasked to review the suitability of applicants and nominate three candidates for one of the country’s plum jobs.
The President is expected to select one person from the three names and forward it to the national assembly for approval within three days of receipt of the list.
Speaking Tuesday during the swearing in held at Public Service Commission Boardroom, Nairobi, Commission Chairperson Mr. Stephen K. Kirogo reminded the panelists that the Government’s fight on corruption has been up-scaled, hence the need to have a very effective Auditor General.
He further noted that the mandate and the independence of the office underpins the heavy responsibility that it carries, and called on them to be diligent in the search for the next office holder.
He observed that in addition to the provisions of the law that will guide their work, the panelist’s wisdom in applying experience and appreciation of the prevailing environment cannot be ignored.
“This panel has the benefit of drawing from the experience and lessons learnt in the tenure of the first Auditor General, to gauge competence of the next office holder and uphold best practices,” said the PSC Chair.
He assured them of the Public Service Commission support through provision of secretariat services to the very end of your assignment.
Selection Panel Chairman Mr. Onyango called on the team to exercise integrity while discharging the duty of selecting the new Auditor General and not succumb to any pressure that would jeopardize the exercise, further stressing on Chapter 6 of the constitution on leadership and integrity.
“Avoid nepotism, tribalism and improper motives during this exercise. Should you be under any pressure to act otherwise against the spirit of constitution, let us know because each scoring by every panelists on candidates will be forwarded to Parliament. Let yours not be so conspicuously different,” urged Onyango.
He further noted that former AG Edward Ouko had exited two months ago and the vacuum must be filled hence the need to act fast, but at the same time make sure that the three selected and presented to the president to nominate is a person of integrity and good moral standing.
“The office is vacant with Ouko vacating over a month ago. We will fast-track the process but at the same time not compromise on quality,” said Onyango.
Mr Onyango is a seasoned auditor, having retired from the audit and advisory firm last year after serving it for about 38 years. He is a non-executive director at British American Tobacco.
In the panel are Rose Mwaura, the former partner at Deloitte and now the chairperson of Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK). Others are Masinde Joy Brenda, Loise Ruhiu, Titus Ndambuki, Kennedy Ogeto and Bernard Ndungu.
For one to be qualified for appointment as Mr Ouko’s successor, one is required to be a Kenyan citizen with extensive knowledge of public finance or at least 10 years’ experience in auditing or public finance management.