Kenya: 17 Fail to Impress in Hunt for Auditor-General to Succeed Ouko

11 December 2019

The vacant position of the Auditor-General will be re-advertised on Friday as the 17 persons shortlisted and interviewed in October did not make the cut.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) announced this on Wednesday, saying the Selection Panel President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed found all the 17 unsuitable.

As such, it could not send recommendations to the President of a person to succeed Edward Ouko.

"Having been informed of the panel's inability to submit three names for nomination, the government has made a decision to re-advertise the position on December 13," PSC chairman Stephen Kirogo said at a press conference on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by members of the panel led by chairman Samuel Onyango.

70 APPLICATIONS

The office of the Auditor-General fell vacant in September following Mr Ouko's retirement.

He was the first holder of the office since it was split from that of the Controller of Budget under the 2010 Constitution.

The position was advertised in September, with a total of 70 people submitting applications.

The panel shortlisted 15 men and two women, who were interviewed in October.

However after an analysis of their performance, the panel concluded that none of them met the criteria for holding the office.

INDEPENDENCE

Mr Onyango said that panel reached this conclusion after reviewing the character, diplomacy and tact of the shortlisted candidates.

"We looked at the personality of an individual who can uphold the independence of the office. All the 17 failed the test," he said.

"The office holder should have the diplomacy and tact to handle the relationship among the three arms of the government. We didn't see this in those shortlisted."

'NO POLITICS'

Mr Kirogo dismissed claims that the PSC predetermined Mr Ouko's successor or that the process was affected by politics.

The supreme desire is to find the most suitable person to hold the office, he said.

"Our interest is, and remains, to get the most suitable candidate for the job. We want the best, considering the role plays into public finance management," he said.

Those interested in becoming Auditor-General will have until December 30 to submit their applications.

The selection panel will be appointed 14 days after the last day of submitting the applications while shortlisting of candidates will be done by January 14.

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