Two candidates vying for the position of the Auditor-General were shortlisted for interviews unprocedurally, a move likely to mar the integrity of the hiring process that will end on Friday.
In a shocking revelation by a source familiar with the ongoing recruitment that started Tuesday, the selection panel shortlisted David Kanja and Peter Kitonyo for interviews to succeed outgoing Auditor-General Edward Ouko though the two do not have practising licenses.
Mr Kanja is the current holder of the newly created position of United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services while Dr Kitonyo is an independent researcher.
He works at the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation, where he was seconded by the Central Bank of Kenya.
“An inquiry at the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) on members with practising licences indicates that the two candidates do not have a practising licence,” said the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Under the 2015 Public Audit Act, a person will be qualified for appointment as the Auditor-General if he or she is a practising member of good standing of a professional body of accountants recognised by law.
Other than the qualification for relevant degrees and 10 years’ audit experience, this is the most critical requirement under the law as it is among the requirements a candidate had to fulfil before being considered for the job.
Tuesday ICPAK chairperson Rose Mwaura, who also sits on the selection panel led by former Deloitte East Africa chief executive Sammy Onyango, remained guarded on the alleged breach.
“I cannot respond officially as I am not the chairman of the committee,” she said. “Please send a formal request to the chairman of the panel. The panel will follow the Public Audit Act and the Constitution to the latter.”
Mr Onyango said those who do not have a practising certificates will be locked out.
“Anybody who does not have a practising certificate will be knocked down during the interviews,” he said. “The issue has actually come up and I have written to ICPAK to confirm whether all candidates have practising licences.” he said.