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The search for the next Auditor General and Controller of Budget has started, amid calls to free the two critical offices from interference by government bureaucrats.
On Tuesday, the Public Serve Commission (PSC) declared the two key positions vacant, following the departure of Edward Ouko and Agnes Odhiambo, whose eight-year non-renewable terms came to an end on Monday, as provided by Article 228 (3) of the Constitution.
Those interested in the two vacancies have until September 9, 2019, to submit their applications manually or electronically to the PSC, an advertisement in the local dailies and the Kenya Gazette said.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 4 (2) of the Controller of Budget Act, 2016, the Public Service Commission (PSC) declares a vacancy in the position of Controller of Budget and invites applications from suitably qualified persons for the position of the Controller of Budget,” reads the advert.
A declaration of vacancy in the Auditor Genera’s office was issued in a separate gazette notice by PSC chairperson Stephen Kirogo.
The Constitution demands that for one to be qualified for appointment as Controller of Budget or Auditor General, they must have extensive knowledge of public finance or at least 10 years’ experience in auditing public finance management.
Further, he or she has to hold a degree in finance, accounting or economics from a university recognised in Kenya, meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution and must be a member in good standing of a professional body for accountants recognised by the law.
Further, the Controller and Auditor General shall, subject to Article 251, hold office for a term of eight years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.
However, a person shall not be qualified for appointment, if such a person is a Member of Parliament; a Member of County Assembly; has not met his or her tax obligations; has been removed from office for contravening the Constitution or any other law; or has been adjudged bankrupt.
Ouko and Odhiambo, who exited office on Monday, were the first holders of the independent offices under the 2010 Constitution. They succeeded in exposing government inadequacies by laying bare rampant misuse of public resources through fictitious budgetary allocations.
Already, intense lobbying has started for the two positions, with Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee asking the PSC to involve them in the recruitment of the Auditor General and Controller of Budget successors.
“We need clarity as a Senate on how the process should be managed because the two are critical pillars of the county governments,” committee chair Moses Kajwang (Homa Bay) told People Daily yesterday.