, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has defended the Auditor General following the release of a report which claims Sh68 billion have not been accounted for by various state agencies.
Chairman Nicholas Gumbo says the attacks on the Auditor General Edward Ouko are unwarranted.
“This attack on the Auditor-General’s report, especially by MPs, not only makes Parliament look like an extension of the Executive, but it also presents an ironical situation where MPs start to look like gate keepers for the Executive. That is not our mandate and it must be condemned,” he said.
He said agencies whose accounts have been flagged for irregularities will be given an avenue to defend themselves.
“It amounts to a complete misuse of public funds for the National Treasury or state agency to take out a full page advert to purport to respond to the Auditor General while the Constitution clearly provides for the mechanism to do so.”
The Gumbo-led committee pledged to hastily take up the matter as billions of taxpayers’ monies had been lost and so as to curb future misuse of public funds.
He said the Auditor General will also have to explain the seven month delay in publishing the report.
“The Auditor General has already been invited by the Public Accounts Committee to come and make a presentation of the highlights of the 2013/2014 audited accounts. Anybody with concerns should present at this forum which will also be used to seek an explanation from the Auditor General of the reasons for the seven month delay in presenting these accounts,” he said.
Balambala MP Abdikadir Aden who sits in the committee also urged Jubilee Coalition MPs and the National Treasury against attacking the office for safeguarding the use of public funds.
Edward Ouko says most ministries could not account for the huge sums of monies allocated to them while others gave unjustifiable reasons for spending the cash running into billions of shillings.
In the report, out of the Sh1.4 trillion allocated to the National Government, Sh68 billion was classified as unsupported expenditure while an excess of Sh24 billion was spent without the approval of Parliament with various other amounts seemingly disappearing into thin air.
“If you go to the reports, you can actually make up your mind and see exactly what I am seeing for future amounts. Some recommendations we make are systemic but there are others that are made on individual ministries. These ones have to be determined by the PAC and action taken on the respective individuals,” said Ouko.