Duale against move to re-appoint audit firm
National Assembly majority leader accuses M/S Baker of lacking the competence to handle the job
The re-appointment of a firm to audit the accounts of the Auditor General yesterday caused an uproar in the House with majority leader Aden Duale opposing the move.
The Parliamentary Service Commission in August awarded M/S Baker Tilly Merali the tender running for three financial years.
This followed a recruitment process that saw bids from four audit firms, M/S Baker, which has been auditing the Auditor General since 2011, win the tender.
Auditor General Edward Ouko had asked for a one-year extension of the M/S Baker’s contract to allow the company audit the accounts of 2014- 15. But Duale rallied the House to go against a report by the PSC seeking the House’s approval, saying MPs cannot be used as a rubber stamp when the contract has already been awarded.
Adan Keynan (Eldas) tabled the report on behalf of the PSC and withdrew it.
“So what we are doing is just rubber-stamping a process which has already been concluded? I refuse to be part of it,” Duale said.
Duale said the procurement should be repeated so that another firm is appointed. He accused M/S Baker of lacking the competence to handle the job.
“Despite being appointed by this House in 2012 and commissioned in 2013, this firm has not submitted a single report to the National Assembly, which is its employer,” he said.
Duale also accused the firm of colluding with the Ouko-led agency to serve the interests of the Auditor General at the expense of the House’s interest.
“We have heard of unconfirmed reports of misappropriation of funds, including the irregular purchase of audit vaults at more than Sh100 million,” the majority leader said.
“We have also heard of improper leasing and refurbishment of the offices in Mombasa and the skewed hiring of staff.”
Duale also accused the firm of conflict of interest after it accepted a consultancy job by the Auditor General within the audit period.
He said the company was given a tender to carry out an evaluation of internal control of the Auditor General in the first year before the review was complete.