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Kenyan accountants seek State appointments

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) has disclosed its intention to lobby for its members to be appointed to the commissions established under the new Constitution.

Chairman Michael Itote said the public sector is short of skills in finance and accounting thus the need to have their members who will ensure financial accountability and good governance.

“There will be significant funds going to the counties. If the central government, with all its machinery, has been having problems in managing the resources at the central level, how will the counties be able to handle this?” he posed.

“We have to look out for that and make sure that we get our members appointed to these positions so that we can help to change Kenya,” he stated.

With the implementation of the new law, he said ICPAK hopes that the government will seek to hire professionals from the private sector as opposed to those from the ‘old boy network’. This would require the government to put in place a transparent process where qualified people who can deliver the required change are picked.

“What we want to watch out for is that we don’t have a game of musical chairs. This is where one is moved from one commission to another where it means ‘you continue scratching my back in that commission and I’ll continue scratching yours,” he argued.

Coupled with this is the need for the government to ensure that it has a mechanism of checking the effectiveness of its service delivery in the decentralised areas.

Mr Itote remarks were supported by KPMG East Africa Chief Executive Officer Josephat Mwaura who argued that this calls for the implementation of a comprehensive financial reporting mechanism within the public sector to ensure that it provides correct information to all stakeholders, which can be used to hold it to account.

“The public sector is the most important institution in any country. Any marginal improvements in performance and accountability can have significant impact on development outcomes, citizens’ quality of life and on returns that investors are able to enjoy,” Mr Mwaura said.

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The managers spoke during the opening of a three-day International Public Sector Accounting Standards International Conference that aims to come up with ways in which public institutions can adopt high reporting standards.

Former Mandera Central MP Billow Kerrow also challenged the government to come up with financial management standards with which it can benchmark the performance of its various ministries with those in other countries.

The adoption of best practices would help improve efficiency and accountability in the government and contribute immensely in enabling the country to accrued the gains spelt out the in the new constitution to be promulgated on Friday.

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