PS says war on graft to target accountants

Micah Powon. PHOTO | FILE
Devolution PS Micah Pkopus (left) and ICPAK chairman Julius Mwatu address the press in Mombasa on May 23, 2018. Photo | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG 

The war on corruption will also train its sights on accountants as the government mulls tighter regulation to punish rogue professionals.

This is according to Devolution Principal Secretary, Micah Powon, who called on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) to institute more punitive measures for accountants who help aid graft.

"We have the accounting officers, those people who key in the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) are ICPAK members. You should not run away from it. Eradicate this monster called corruption . It calls for collective responsibility," Mr Powon said Wednesday at the lobby's 34th annual seminar in Mombasa.

He also called for the formation of a legal framework mandating all accountants working with the public sector to be registered with ICPAK as a way to vet and safeguard against pilferage.

“When you are pointing a finger to me three are pointing at you. We need to fight corruption collectively. The resources that are entrusted to ward representatives are done by accountants. Tell us what is happening. Play your role.”


"Walk the talk"

Meanwhile, accountants urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to walk the talk on matters corruption by ensuring heads roll following the Sh9 billion National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.

They also noted that county and national governments were hiring officers not registered with the body, hence making it harder to discipline them.

“Our mandate is to register and regulate all accountants in Kenya. We want chief officer of finance and all heads of finance in the counties and government ministries and departments to be members of ICPAK...We are keeping tabs with what is happening around the Sh9 billion National Youth Service scandal,” ICPAK chairman Julius Mwatu said.

ICPAK has also proposed a Sh1 million to Sh10 million fine to be imposed to any of their members found culpable of fraud.

“The current Accountants Act only allows ICPAK to charge up to Sh100,000 penalty. We feel that is not reflective of the current status of things,” he added.

The representative body has also called for a review of the 2008 Accountants Act.