Kenya smallholder tea farmers earn Sh63.6 billion from tea exports
World Bank expresses concern over poor financial and auditing in government
By TF News Reporter
The World Bank now want the government to seek services of private auditors to look at its financial books as it work to strengthen the financial and auditing systems.
The bank country director Diarietou Gaye asked the National Treasury to work with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) to improve the accounting standards.
“I would like to encourage the National Treasury to work with ICPAK, the auditor General and other stakeholders, provide legal framework for practical experience for trainee accountants and increased participation by private auditors in the audit of government agencies,” she says.
“The National Treasury should support the development of the framework for adoption of International Public Sector Accounting standards (IPSAS) for the national and county governments.”
He observations comes at a time when President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered for an external audit of all government ministries to rid the government of ghost workers who cost the taxpayers in excess of Sh1.8 billion annually.
President Kenyatta has directed the ministry of devolution to speed up the audit and table a report within three months.
“Stronger financial, accounting and auditing systems at country level will promote local and foreign investor confidence in Kenya and attract more foreign direct investment. This would lead to stronger economic growth,” says Gaye.
ICPAK council chairman Mr Benson Okundi revealed that most accountants and auditors working in the civil service are not members of the association and therefore they had no powers to discipline or even set standards for the public sector.
He however said the association would be able to register the professionals within the next six months if the government agreed to pay the sh26, 000 subscriptions free.
However government accountant General Mr Benard Ndung’u remained non-committal but assured that the government is determined to improve financial and auditing standards.
The World Bank has given ICPAK a Sh60 million grant to improve its capacity and support small accounting firms located across the country.
“The small and medium-sized enterprises which make up the vast majority of the corporate entities in Kenya are constrained by weak financial management and financial reporting, and limited access to finance, says Ms Patricia Mc kenzie, financial management manager for East and southern Africa.
“These weaknesses serve to increase the business risk, and adversely affect productivity and competitiveness of the overall corporate sector in the economy.”
ICPAK is expected to use the money to improve its institutional capacity by strengthening its secretariat to regulate the accounting profession by adopting good practices.
“The ultimate goal is to ensure good governance, accountability and transparency in management of government resources.