Economy

Hefty perks plan for retired Auditor General, budget boss

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Former Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The inquiry could lead to the occupants of the two offices being part of retired Deputy President and Designated State Officers Act—which provides pension for retired deputy president, prime minister, speakers and chief Justice.
  • 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.
  • The committee has 60 days to report the findings to the House and the petitioner in line with timelines on the processing of public petitions.

Retired Auditor-General and Controller of Budget will earn 80 percent of their last monthly salaries, top of the range vehicles and other juicy perks at the expense of taxpayers for life if MPs amend the law to provide them with pension.

Parliament has started an inquiry on 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 inquiry could lead to the occupants of the two offices being 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 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 30 percent of their total basic pay and not life-time pension.

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 Controller of budget 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.

Speaker Justin Muturi has tasked the Finance and planning committee to look at the retirement benefits after Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie tabled the petition on behalf of the former Auditor-General.

The committee has 60 days to report the findings to the House and the petitioner in line with timelines on the processing of public petitions.

“This petition has always pended in my office. The office of the Auditor General had petitioned the Speaker but I don’t initiate any motion in the House. I thank the member for bringing this petition and direct that the petition be committed to the departmental committee on Finance and National Planning,” Mr Muturi said.