, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 12 – Former President Mwai Kibaki has implored the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) to play a more active role in the fight against corruption in the country.
“You cannot afford to ignore the increasingly disturbing reports on how public resources are put into use. Persons in both private and public enterprise have resorted to brazenly seeking private gain or profit at the expense of the public…,” said the former Head of State.
Kibaki noted this during the Institute of Certified Public Accounts’ 2nd Annual Chairman’s Ball held at Safari Park Hotel on the eve of Jamhuri Day. During the event, Kibaki was honored with an honorary CPA (K) membership, the first one ever by ICPAK. The former Head of State now becomes, not only the first Kenyan to receive the honour but also a fellow of ICPAK.
In his address to hundreds of guests, Kibaki stressed that ICPAK must upscale its oversight and regulatory roles in order to forestall mismanagement of resources in both public and private sectors.
The former President said: “I am aware that ICPAK has taken a firm stand against this vice. However, the Institute ought to act more decisively and support measures that ensure effective protection of public coffers as well as private investments.”
He further noted that ICPAK’s move to get rid of rogue accountants and auditors should be acknowledged and supported as this will help to discourage corrupt practices by both the private and public officers.
Kibaki said only through sound public and private sector financial management will the government and investors deliver on their development agenda for the country. He added that the passage of the Accountant Act 2008 gives the accountants requisite legal framework to promote their professional standards and competence.
“This realisation is what led to the passage of the Accountants Act of 2008. The Act requires that ICPAK gives top priority to the promotion of standards as well as professional competence amongst its members,” Kibaki noted.
Kibaki maintained that with fully committed, well-coordinated and ethical accountants are capable of countering graft, financial malpractices and poor governance that threaten to slow down Kenya’s economic and social progress.
He also called for more collaboration between the private and public sector in the fight against the vice in order to make a Kenya better place to live in.
“I am sure you are already aware of the emerging need for more collaborative effort between the public and private sectors. Such collaboration should, and can, drive this country to greater prosperity for the benefit of all. It is important that you strengthen this relationship,” Kibaki added.
ICPAK chairman Fernandes Barasa called for the review of the 2008 Act in order to take into account the changing times in the profession. Barasa maintained that there is need to have a proper regulatory mechanism that clearly stipulates the standards and has a stiffer penalising mechanism.
The chairman acknowledged the continued support of the former President to the institute, noting that since its inception he has tremendously supported the institute to articulate its mandate. The institutes’ Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Ngumi, echoed similar sentiments.