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 Star (Kenya) - - Politics - JAMES MBAKA @onchir­im­baka

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.

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