The vetting of the nominee for Auditor-General Ms. Nancy Janet Kabui Gathungu will commence this Friday morning. The vetting will be conducted by the National Assembly Committee on Finance and National Planning. The nominee is currently the Director of Quality Assurance at the Auditor-General’s office.
The nomination follows after shortlisted candidates failed to meet the criteria for the job position as was said by the panel. The vacancy was then readvertised by Mr. Sammy Onyango, the chairman of the first panel. Re-advertisement was challenged by Okiya Omtatah, stating that the move is unconstitutional, null, and void.
Mr.Omtatah sued the panel for reporting that the candidates met the technical requirements but scored poorly in other tests such as the tests for diplomacy, which was a key consideration. He successfully challenged the move by stating that the panel has no power to decline to select the candidates that were interviewed after meeting the eligible thresholds set in the constitution and law.
The court asked the President to either extend the mandate of the selection panel or constitute a fresh one as the current one ”lacks legal competence and validity”.This led to the conclusion of the nomination of Ms.Janet Gathungu, who was among the shortlisted candidates.
Edward Ouko was the predecessor after his successful term of 8 years, which ended in August 2019. Ms. Janet Gathungu was then nominated by the President. After the nomination for the position of an Auditor-General has been done, the new constitution states that Parliament has 14 days after submission of the name by the President to reject or approve the nominee.
The MP’s have until July 13th to approve her after the National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi received her nomination on June 23rd. The speaker said, ” The committee is advised to expeditiously proceed to notify the nominee and the public, commence the approval hearings in good time and table its reports to enable the house to consider the matter within the statutory timelines”.
Delay in the appointment of the Auditor-General has complicated operations in the finance sector. This is because books cannot be closed without the signature of the Auditor-General.