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Economy

Parliament seeks foreign firm to audit Ouko's books

Edward Ouko
Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya may be forced to hire the services of an international firm to review books of the office of the Auditor-General after three failed attempts to procure a local company.

The Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai wants the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to allow him to procure the services of an accountant from any of the Commonwealth countries to undertake the task.

Mr Sialai, who was accompanied by Auditor-General Edward Ouko in the meeting with PAC on Tuesday, said there was already a memorandum of understanding with Liberia.

“As a way forward, we wish to propose to your committee that audit services from Commonwealth jurisdiction be procured along the terms, with necessary modification of the memorandum of understanding entered between the office of the Auditor-General Kenya and General Auditing Commission of Liberia,” said Mr Sialai.

The new push comes almost three years since Parliament voted to reject the appointment of Baker Tilly Meralli's which audited Mr Ouko’s books of accounts prior to 2016.

The House cited conflict of interest. Mr Ouko told PAC that he did not object to Parliament hiring an international firm to audit his accounts.

“We need to find a way of appointing an auditor. Liberian National Audit Office and I have an memorandum of understanding,” Mr Ouko said.

Auditor-General’s books of accounts have not been audited for the financial years 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18. Mr Sialai said an advertisement placed in September 26, 2018 failed to return a responsive bid. He said despite nine firms responding to the proposal, none qualified for scrutinise Mr Ouko’s books.

“In view of the above chronology of events, we have been unable to procure services of an audit firm to audit and report on the accounts of the Auditor-General on account of non-responsiveness of conflict of interest,” said Mr Sialai.

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