Auditor-General mulls usage of AI to boost service delivery


Nancy Gathungu, the Auditor-General of the Republic of Kenya gives a speech at a past event. FILE PHOTO | BILLY OGADA | NMG

The Office of the Auditor-General is considering adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to improve efficiency and generate timely reports on the usage of public resources by State entities.

Deputy Auditor-General Isaac Kamau said the office would use the AI technology within professional standards and guarantee the safety of public information.

“As most of the government services shifting into the digital space, we need to assess the risks and compliance carefully,” he said but did not give details on how the auditor would use AI in its operations.

Mr Kamau said the space is open to talks and called on industry players to make their views on the issue.

The technology, he said, would enable the auditor-general to be more efficient and effective and automate some of the routine tasks.

“While adoption of AI is inevitable, we need to be careful about how to get evidence and understand how AI can generate the information,” he said.

“We need to be in a place where we can offer assurance and accountability to the public and gain the trust of our practitioners.”

He spoke in Kisumu during a three-day governance, risk, and compliance conference organised by the ISACA Kenya chapter, which kicked off on Thursday.

National Computer and Cybercrime Coordination Committee cybersecurity policy and strategy head David Njoga said the government would implement the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018 by putting in place strong regulations.

“The government is focused to coordinate the prevention, detection and response to cybercrime and computer offences,” he said.

He pointed out that protection of the Kenyan cyber space will help support the social economic activities and support the government agenda on digital transformation.

Dr Njoga cautioned that cases like cyber stalking, cyber bullying, interfering with critical information infrastructure among others will be dealt with decisively once the regulations are put in place.

Oxford Insights Government AI readiness 2022 index report ranked Kenya the fifth (behind Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco) in Africa for its readiness to adopt Artificial Intelligence in delivery of public services.

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