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EACC not above Parliamentary watchdog’s oversight: MPs

In a letter, the Commission Waqo CEO informed the committee that they have no case to answer/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has extended a fresh invite to Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Eliud Wabukhala and Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo to appear before it to respond to audit queries raised by the Auditor General in the financial year 2015/2016.

This is after Waqo snubbed an invite to appear before the House watchdog team on Friday morning.

Waqo had written to the committee saying that the commission will not be appearing because they have audit queries to respond to.

“This is to inform you that the commission was issued with an unqualified audit report from the Auditor General for both the financial years 2014/2015 and 2015/2015. Therefore no matter was referred to PAC,” read the letter dated February 26.

MPs Otiende Omollo, Daniel Rono and Sakwa Bunyasi raised concerns that the Waqo had acted in contempt to the Committee.

“Mr. Chairman should quote the relevant statutes and the Constitution; so that they may be made aware why this committee is in place,” Rono said.

“It is conceivable that the Auditor General might not raise issue but in discussing their reports this committee might rightfully raise other issues in accordance with its mandate and I therefore think the proper thing is to reject the letter and insist that they appear,” said Amollo.

Public bodies do not have much of a choice but to appear before the House watchdog team whenever required even if they have no pending audit queries.

Wandayi said Waqo and other accounting officers must be made to account for public funds that are allocated to agencies within any financial year.

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He went on to direct the Clerk of the Committee to order the anti-graft body to appear without fail.

“This Committee has got the mandate to invite all entities that are supported by public funds and which offices are audited by the OAG and this is regardless of whether the OAG has given whichever verdict on that specific matter and therefore once we invite you, your duty is to come and explain yourself and also hear from because we might have other queries away from the report,” Wandayi stated.

The House team has also issued a directive requiring all independent commissions appearing before it to be represented by the Chairman as the head of the agency and CEO as the accounting officer.


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