NAIROBI Kenya, Aug 7 – The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) has hit out at the Chairman of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) over his interpretation of the law that lays down the qualifications for the appointment of the Controller of Budget and Auditor General.
ICPAK Chairman Patrick Mtange said a requirement that the person appointed to the office be a member of a professional body was not discriminatory as alleged by Mr Nyachae.
“In implementing the Constitution it is good that we follow the letter of the provisions contained in the Constitution but more importantly that we uphold the spirit of the Constitution in totality,” he said.
“In prescribing the qualifications, skills and competence of the office holders of the Independent Offices Act was keeping in both the spirit and letter of the constitution,” he added.
Mr Mtange maintains that ICPAK is the only professional body recognised by the law in Kenya having been established by the Accountants Act of 1978.
CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae was quoted in the media earlier this week as having written to the Attorney General saying the qualifications were unconstitutional.
Mr Nyachae particularly reads as discriminatory the provision of section 4(1e) of the Independent Offices Appointment Act that provides that: “A person shall be qualified for appointment as the Auditor-General or the Controller of Budget if such person-is a member in good standing of a professional body for accountants recognised by law.”
But Mr Mtange argued: “A member of professional bodies such as ICPAK adheres to the highest levels of standards of professional competence, a rigorous code of ethical conduct and is disciplinary mechanism,” he said adding that non members are not bound by such provisions of the accountants act.
“It is in this spirit that the holders of the two offices must be members of ICPAK in good standing,” he added.
The move by the CIC Chairman may hamper and slow down the appointment of the two officers against the August 27 deadline.
The Controller of Budget approves all withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund to ministries and State agencies.