Kenya: House to Vet Auditor-General Nominee Today

President Kenyatta's nominee for the position of Auditor-General will appear before Parliament for vetting this morning.

The Committee on Finance and National Planning will interview Ms Nancy Janet Kabui Gathungu -- nominated to succeed Mr Edward Ouko -- as the second Auditor-General under the 2010 Constitution.

The committee chaired by Mr Joseph Limo will vet Ms Gathungu, who is widely tipped to succeed Mr Ouko, whose eight-year non-renewable term ended in August last year, ending a nine-month wait.

The nomination of Ms Gathungu, who is currently the director of quality assurance at the Auditor-General's office, marks the end of two attempts by President Kenyatta to fill the position.

Under the law, Parliament has 14 days after submission of the name by the President to either approve or reject the nominee.

Speaker Justin Muturi on Tuesday last week told MPs that he had received Ms Gathungu's nomination, meaning the lawmakers have until July 13 to approve or reject her.

"The committee is advised to expeditiously proceed to notify the nominee and the public, commence the approval hearings in good time and table its report to enable the House to consider the matter within the statutory timelines," he said in a communiqué to lawmakers.

COMPLICATED PLANNING

Lack of a substantive Auditor-General has complicated financial planning and reporting for State corporations whose books cannot be closed without a substantive Auditor-General signing them.

The process to replace Mr Ouko began immediately after his retirement but the first panel chaired by Sammy Onyango re-advertised the position saying none of the 17 candidates shortlisted after the first interviews met the criteria for the job last year.

Activist Okiya Omtatah unsuccessfully challenged the move saying some of the considerations imposed by the panel were outside the eligibility threshold set in law.

The court the asked President Kenyatta to either extend the mandate of the selection panel or constitute a fresh one as current one "lacks legal competence and validity", a process concluded with Ms Gathungu's nomination.

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