ASSAULT ON AUDITOR GENERAL:
We have today instructed our lawyers to move to court and challenge the new move by the Jubilee Administration to muzzle the one office that is struggling to guard public interest in the era of grand theft of public resources by government officials.
The move to significantly cut the powers of the Auditor General, alter the structure of the office and remove his powers to hire staff, among other raft of measures arrived at by newly announced changes affecting the office of the Auditor General, is the final evidence that Jubilee is not only not committed to fighting corruption, but is also hell bent on perpetuating a cover up for the corrupt.
This is part of a growing culture of impunity and distaste for accountability that has the patronage of the Presidency.
The assault on this critical office is also unconstitutional.
The office of the Auditor General is an independent audit institution.
Its independence is entrenched within the Constitution where it is clearly defined and its structure clearly spelt out.
The office is required to maintain organizational, administrative, reporting and financial independence at all times. Organizational independence is achieved through the granting of powers to determine the organizational structure including hiring of staff.
The Auditor General and staff adhere to professional code of ethics, with independence being a key requirement to the effective planning and conduct of any audit.
The Auditor General must be empowered to appoint, on terms as he or she may determine, such number and such classes of officers as he or she may consider necessary to assist in the discharge of functions according to law.
The Auditor General must at all times be entitled to free access at all reasonable times to information requested from officers and other staff members of government departments or offices, or of bodies subject to audit, including security institutions and projects.
Security sector remains the deep black hole into which public money is hidden without trace. It is the one institution set to be protected by the latest attack on the Auditor General.
The Auditor General must be empowered to carry out any type of audit, including financial and compliance audits, performance audits, investigative audits, as well as any other reviews the Auditor General may decide to carry out. His office and his powers must be designed to facilitate, not inhibit this. Financial independence forms an essential element of the Auditor Generalâ€™s independence.
All these critical provisions are eroded by the new set up for the Auditor General.
We will stop at nothing until this assault on the Constitution, whose entire purpose is to allow the thieves steal in peace, is stopped.
RAILA A ODINGA
DECEMBER 18, 2015