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Report calls for audit of new watchdog agencies

The Office of the Auditor-General just released its report for the year ended June 30, 2013 which shows that out of the 342 financial statements for public institutions audited, only 41 had clean audit reports.

According to the findings, of the Sh802 billion public expenditure under development and recurrent votes, Sh338 billion could not be effectively accounted for.

The Auditor-General further outlined significant weaknesses in records management ranging from non-reconciled revenue transactions to discrepancies in financial ledgers which is largely inconsistent with the Generally Acceptable Accounting practices (GAAP).

A similar report released last year held the same narrative with Sh303 billion of public funds recorded under the mismanaged expenditure line item. The public funds mismanagement template is shared across borders in Africa.

Last year as Kenya’s Auditor-General was releasing the report, the then President of Malawi, Joyce Banda, was busy reconstituting her Cabinet following the corruption aftershocks of the ‘Cash gate scandal’ that would later deny her a second term in office in May this year.

Malawi and Kenya are not the only cases, the burden of mismanagement and fraud against African citizenry cuts across most Africa countries.

In the year before, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania sacked his Finance, Energy, Tourism, Trade, Transport and Health ministers over serious corruption allegations. The situation is no better in the neighbouring Uganda where the Government payment system was compromised and allegations of illegal payments made through forged signatures.

The list of cases of mismanagement of public resources across most poverty stricken developing countries in Africa continues to grow in scope and magnitude.

The Global Financial Integrity (GFI) latest report, Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries released in December 2012, found that developing countries lost US$859 billion to illicit outflows over the study period, this number is nearly nine times the total world Development Assistance funds (ODA) given annually by donor countries, according to the latest world Bank report.

In Kenya, there are many laws and organisations like the Audit Office, Public Procurement Oversight Authority, anti-corruption commission, The Judiciary, The Office of Controller of Budget, and others were recently created or reformed with mandates of influencing public resources accountability.

The big question remains: Should these institutions be openly undermined with no individual costs to accountability?

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