Economy

Second-best may be next Auditor-General

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Head of public service Joseph Kinyua. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Office of the President, which cancelled the previous recruitment and ordered a fresh one, is banking on a favourable ruling to push for new shortlisting after it re-advertised the position.

The fate of Kenya’s next Auditor-General will be determined Thursday morning when the High Court delivers a ruling on the stalled recruitment.

The Office of the President, which cancelled the previous recruitment and ordered a fresh one, is banking on a favourable ruling to push for new shortlisting after it re-advertised the position.

In case the court rules against fresh advertisement, the team will settle for the second-best applicant after the top candidate failed integrity test, said head of public service Joseph Kinyua.

“None of the 17 shortlisted candidates met the fit and proper criteria as set out by the Selection Panel, and it was deemed prudent and necessary to re-advertise the position,” Mr Kinyua told MPs.

“If we are directed, we could go back and pick the second best candidate. But we didn’t want to get just anybody to be in that office. I still believe the team headed by Sammy Onyango was good.”

MPs, however, put Mr Kinyua to task to provide the results of the interviews and accused the Office of the President of interfering with the hiring. The Public Investment Committee, Public Accounts Committee, and Special Funds Accounts Committee met Mr Kinyua over the failure to recruit the Auditor-General.

Mr Kinyua proposed amendment to the Public Audit Act so that “the recruitment process for that position commences between three to six months in advance of the lapse date.

Reverting to the tradition of the second-most senior officer acting for a specified period is the second proposal, he said.