Govt plans to remove Auditor-General as head of national audit office

The government has proposed a raft of changes at the Office of the Auditor-General that if enacted into law, will drastically affect operations at the national audit office as it seeks to push for zero-fault audit reports of institutions that receive public funds.

The government-sponsored Public Audit (Amendment) Bill 2024 before parliament, seeks to empower the Audit Advisory Board to be responsible for providing advisory on budget plans and estimates, human resource management and “any other matter that might be referred to the board by the Auditor-General.”

The Auditor-General is the current head and accounting officer of the national audit office.

“The office shall comprise the Auditor-General, who shall be the accounting officer and the staff appointed by the Auditor-General,” the Bill reads adding; “in the performance of administrative functions, the Auditor-General may, where he or she deems fit, seek the advice of the Audit Advisory Board.”

The Bill is in the name of Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah, who by virtue of his position as the leader of majority in the National Assembly signs government Bills before they are introduced in the National Assembly.

Section 4 (2) of the Public Audit Act that is earmarked for repeal states; “the office shall comprise the Auditor-General as its statutory head and all other staff appointed by the Auditor-General as may be delegated in accordance with Article 234 of the Constitution.”

The Audit Advisory Board shall include Auditor-General, who shall be the chairperson, the Attorney-General or a nominee and a representative of Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

There is also the chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly or his/her nominee and two representatives from parliament- one from the National Assembly and the other from Senate committees in charge of public finance and audit.  

This means that nominees of the Association of Professional Societies of East Africa, Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the chairperson of Public Service Commission (PSC), the current members of the board, will not be represented if the Bill becomes law as proposed.

If the Bill becomes law, the Auditor-General shall be guided by Article 47 (1) and (2) of the constitution in the performance of his or her administrative functions over the audit subjects.

Subsection 1 of this Article provides that every person has the right to administrative action that is expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.

Subsection 2 states that if a right or fundamental freedom of a person has been or is likely to be adversely affected by administrative action, the person has the right to be given written reasons for the action.

Section 7 (1) of the Public Audit Act states that the Auditor-General shall give assurance on the effectiveness of internal controls, risk management and overall governance at national and county government.

However, this has been proposed for replacement with “the Auditor-General shall satisfy himself or herself that public resources have been applied or used in an economic, efficient, effective, transparent and sustainable manner.”  

The Bill limits the qualification of an individual to be appointed Auditor-General to a practicing member “of good standing of a professional body of accountants recognized by the Accountants Act.”

This will likely open the door for the appointment of foreigners to head a crucial office that audits the expenditures of State security agencies like Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Kenya Policy among other critical security installations.

The law provides that a person shall be qualified for appointment as the Auditor-General if one is a citizen of Kenya, holds the respective qualifications for the office, holds a degree in finance, accounting or economics from a university recognized in Kenya.

The person must also demonstrate a “verifiable and logical progression in the attainment of his or her educational qualifications,” and must also meet the requirements on leadership and integrity and is a practicing member of good standing of a professional body of accountants recognized by law.

The Bill also seeks to create the office of the Deputy Auditor-General, who shall be the principal assistant to the Auditor-General and the secretary of the Audit Advisory Board.

“The Deputy Auditor-General shall deputize for the Auditor-General in the execution of the Auditor-General’s function save for the express powers provided under the constitution,” the Bill reads.

The law provides that there shall be a Senior Deputy Auditor-General who shall be competitively recruited by the Advisory Board and appointed by the Auditor General.

Although Head of Public Service (HoPS) Mr Felix Koskei has demanded that all accounting officers in government to ensure they get zero-fault audit reports from the Office of the Auditor-General as an indicator of Kenya Kwanza performance, Auditor-General Ms Nancy Gathungu is uncomfortable.

Ms Gathungu, while appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly towards the end of last year, noted that she will not be told how to do her work.

“There is nothing in the auditing standards that require the office of the Auditor-General to issue clearance certificates on audit reports. That is the work of parliament,” said Ms Gathungu.

“What they need to do is to spend the public funds within the law, prepare the financial statements well and you will not have audit queries. Those are the standards. I will issue audit opinions based on the financial statements submitted to us,” she added.

The audit report on the national government expenditures under the 2022/23 financial year indicates that Ms Gathungu has not gone against the auditing standards to issue her audit opinions just so as to comply with the HoPS directive.

But even as Ms Gathungu spoke before PAC, she acknowledged that her office is inundated with “documents that were needed long ago” for audit queries that parliament has considered by way of reports that have already been adopted.

“Once they submit the documents, they claim the matters have been resolved. But you cannot clear this at the entry level,” she said, noting that her desire to stick to the law and the auditing standards has seen the government accounting officers “become mad with me.”

In a determined move to push for zero-fault audit, the Bill seeks to rework the audit process steps such that for all audits or investigations, the Auditor-General shall inform the accounting officer of an entity to be audited or investigated before commencement of the audit.

The Bill wants that at the beginning of the audit of a state organ or public entity, an entry meeting “shall be held to deliberate on the scope of audit between Auditor-General and the accounting officer.”

The Auditor-General shall then prepare and issue a report to parliament and the relevant county assembly.

Within 14 days from the receipt of any audit report, the accounting officer shall submit a response to the Auditor-General including remedial actions undertaken to address the audit findings, in what would likely usurp the powers of the audit committees of the legislature at the national and county levels.

AM Live

AM Live is NTV's morning current affairs show that sets the agenda for the day with insightful panels every weekday.


Business Redefined

Business Redefined is Kenya’s premier thought leadership platform for unpacking matters regarding economic and finance policy as well demystifying complex developments in the region’s capital markets.


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Full Episodes

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Gumzo La Sato

Gumzo La Sato is a live social issues show that aims to create awareness about issues affecting the larger society. The discussions range from Parenting, Marital bliss and struggles, Oppression, violence, and all matters of the Heart.

Health Diary

Health Diary is a weekly show that highlights different types of diseases/conditions and seeks ways to prevent, treat/manage them. The show debunks this through real life stories and also feature specialists in different fields, to offer medical advice on the same.

Letter To My Younger Self

Letter To My Younger Self is a podcast where guests get to write a letter to their younger self, from which Maxine formulates questions to ask them during the hour-long show.

Mazao Talks

Mazao looks at agriculture and agribusiness

Nation Reports

Nation Reports is a weekly podcast offers an opportunity for listeners to interact with various reporters and journey with them as they unravel the biggest most emotive stories.

One Health Lens Podcast

Discussing health matters and human stories from Kenya and across Africa. We talk big picture from people to policy, ecosystems, and everything in between. Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/onehealthlens

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost peeks through the story of Louis Otieno, the times, and everything in between.



Speaking of GEN Z

Speaking of Gen Z brings you entertaining but meaningful conversations about a generation that is trying to navigate through adulthood. Join hosts Michelle, Jackie and Esther as they unravel all things Gen Z.

Sport On

Sport-On is a 30-minute sports magazine show on NTV and 3 hours on NATION FM. The show seeks to give the sports “fanatics” and “funatics” comprehensive and in-depth coverage of sports both locally and internationally.


The extent of technological growth is beyond mere acknowledgment; it has seamlessly integrated into our daily existence. A few years ago, the notion of paying electricity bills through mobile money or recharging with 'tokens' in Kenya seemed inconceivable. Online product sales were considered distant, and artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping various facets of our lives. Amidst these technological leaps, those with a solid understanding of tech can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and build a sustainable livelihood. Tech over Show aims to be the platform facilitating discussions among thought leaders, innovators, tech companies, and the government, addressing challenges and opportunities in Kenya's thriving tech industry.


Thamani is a business show which is dedicated to emerging issues regarding micro, small and medium size businesses.

The Politalk podcast

This is The Politalk podcast. Here we look into the ins and outs of everything Kenyan politics. We pull no punches and have no reason to sugarcoat anything that matters to Kenyans.

The Trend

A two-hour-long live show that airs on Fridays. The show focuses on what is current in the entertainment industry, controversial and popular across all media platforms targeting those aged between 25 and 35 years.

The trend podcast

The trend podcast highlights and captures the best of banter from #TTTT segment that airs every Friday on NTV. It's the TTTT EXTRA

The Wicked Edition

The Wicked Edition with Dr. King’ori seeks to address serious issues through humour and relatable wit. It is a two-part half hour show filmed in front of a live audience


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula


Twende is a travel show that highlights beautiful, unique, diverse locations, people, and cultures. The show offers fresh perspectives on familiar locations and memorable experiences in new ones.


This Saturday evening lifestyle show lets viewers share their stories and life experiences as openly & honestly for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

VIP Access

VIP ACCESS is Anyiko Owoko’s YouTube and podcast show on Music and Culture dedicated to promoting Africa’s most promising talent and creatives. This podcast grants you VIP access into timeless interviews while providing a platform for rising as well as established artists across the continent. Since launching in 2018, Anyiko has interviewed over 70 African music stars.


This weekly news show aims to have all sides of debate but not be constrained by it, listen to main voices in the contest but not allow them to hold the viewers hostage, entertain debate but allow push back with all due respect.

When death do us part

In this podcast, three widowers openly speak about the process of grief, how they found themselves exposed to the emotional turmoil of losing their wives, and how society still does not know how to deal with them.

Your World

Your World is a health, wellness and variety show. It provides a platform for audiences and experts to share their experiences on how to improve or manage health issues, across Kenya and the Africa region.