Kenya: Ronalds LLP Poised to Audit Auditor-General

14 September 2021

Ronalds Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), a private company, is in line for appointment to audit the financial accounts of the Office of Auditor-General (OAG) for the previous two financial years.

The external audit firm, which quoted Sh18.47 million for the job, was recommended for the job by the National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai after being ranked at 91 percent- the highest score.

The details of the outcome of a bidding process are contained in a document submitted to the House Committee on Public Accounts (PAC), a watchdog committee.

PKF Kenya LLP which quoted Sh21.23 was ranked the second-highest bidder at 88.1 percent.

If approved by a resolution of the National Assembly, Ronalds will audit the financial statements of the Office of Auditor-General for the years 2018/19 and 2019/2020 and the organisation's mortgage and car loan scheme for 2015/16 financial year.

The communication by Mr Sialai was sweet news to Ronalds that lost to PKF Kenya LLP in August 2019 to audit OAG's accounts for the years 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 at Sh41.19 million.

At the time Ronalds and Associates did not get the job despite quoting the least-- Sh31.6 million.

Mr Sialai urged PAC, chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, to expedite consideration of the approval of M/s Ronalds Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).

"A notification of intention to enter into a contract was issued to M/s Ronalds Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and accepted on May 24, 2021. There was no appeal from any of the other bidders within the prescribed period," Mr Sialai told PAC.

The OAG audits the accounts of the national and county governments, meaning that its accounts can only be audited by a private entity as there is no other government agency with similar expertise.

What remains before the private firm formally gets appointed is for PAC to move a motion for consideration of the approval as provided for in the constitution.

Already, a negotiation committee has been appointed in line with the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act to negotiate on other contractual terms.

Article 264 of the constitution mandates the National Assembly to ensure that the accounts of OAG are audited and reported on by a professionally qualified accountant appointed by it.

In line with this requirement, eight firms submitted their bids after the advertisement was made by the National Assembly on February 19, 2021.

They include PKF Kenya LLP, Ronalds LLP, Kiarie Kang'ethe and Company Certified Public Accountants and Nelson and Francis LLP in joint venture with Growth Path Consultants.

The others are Said Abeid Said and Company Certified Public Accountants, Ambale Ogot and Company Certified Public Accountants, Mazars Certified Public Accountants and FH and Company.

However, three companies-- PKF Kenya LLP, Ronalds LLP and Kiarie Kang'ethe and Company-- proceeded to the technical evaluation as the others were knocked out at the preliminaries.

Kiarie Kang'ethe and Company was dropped after scoring below the pass mark of 75 points as required of the evaluation criteria, meaning that only PKF Kenya LLP and Ronalds LLP proceeded to the financial evaluation stage.

Nelson and Francis LLP failed to fully fill confidential business questionnaires for the joint venture partner growth path associates, Said Abeid did not separate the technical and financial proposals as required and the tax compliance certificate it provided was also expired.

Ambale and company did not submit the original and a copy of the proposal document as required, Mazars did not provide a certificate of good standing for the personnel as required while FHC did not separate technical and financial proposals.

National Assembly has previously engaged M/s Baker Tilly Meralli's to audit the Auditor-General for the financial years 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014.

The expiry of the contract saw PSC in 2016 attempt to identify a professionally qualified accountant to provide external audit services for the three financial years but the House failed to approve the process.

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