Economy

Auditor, budget chief set for hefty retirement perks

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Former Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee has directed the SRC to provide a lifetime pension to the Auditor-General.
  • The retired Auditor-General and Controller of Budget, who serve a non-renewable term of eight years, are offered a lump sum gratuity equivalent to 31 percent of their total basic pay.

Retired Auditor-General and Controller of Budget will earn 80 percent of their last monthly salaries, and get top-of-the-range vehicles as well as other juicy perks at the expense of taxpayers for life under new proposals.

The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee has directed the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to provide a lifetime pension to the Auditor-General.

The retired Auditor-General and Controller of Budget, who serve a non-renewable term of eight years, are offered a lump sum gratuity equivalent to 31 percent of their total basic pay and not life-time pension.

The Committee says the lack of pension could comprise the integrity of the independent office holders.

“It is imperative that the holders of the positions receive adequate retirement benefits to cushion them against the demands of life at the end of their tenure,” said the committee.

Parliament has been inquiring why the retired Auditor-General and Controller of Budget are not offered a pension like other top State officers such as the Speaker and Chief Justice.

The petition sought to have the occupants of the two offices be part of retired Deputy President and Designated State Officers Act—which provides pension for retired deputy president, Prime Minister, Speakers and Chief Justice.

The retired top State officers in the Judiciary and Executive receive hefty perks, including a monthly pension, cars, drivers, fully furnished offices, cooks, messengers, personal assistants and police bodyguards.

But Treasury say a separate law should be created to cater for pension of the Auditor-General and Controller of Budget.

The Committee wants the Auditor General to be offered a monthly pension and lumpsum pay to be determined by the SRC.

It wants armed security and full medical insurance offered to the retired Auditor General and their spouses

The National Assembly has received a petition asking MPs to amend the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officer) Act, 2015 to include the Auditor-General.

This opens the door for MPs to add the Auditor-General and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to the list of State officers entitled to retirement benefits for life, increasing the burden on taxpayers to keep top officials comfortable after exiting office.

Edward Ouko and Agnes Odhiambo served as Kenya’s first Auditor-General and Controller of Budget respectively under the 2010 Constitution and retired last August after serving an eight-year non-renewable term.