Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u has appointed former Auditor General Edward Ouko to the Pending Bills Verification Committee.
In a Gazette Notice, Ouko was named as the chair of the 18-member committee tasked with investigating the government’s pending bills.
As of June 2022, the national government’s pending bills stood at Ksh481 billion.
Ouko, who sued former President Uhuru Kenyatta and other senior officials for planning to oust him from office in 2017, will be deputised by Tirop Kosgey.
Former Auditor General Edward Ouko in Siaya County on October 5, 2022.
Other members of the committee include Ali Abdulrazaq, Hesbon Omollo, Eric Onyango Gumbo, Patience Mulondo, James Washington Munene Gitonga, Bernard Ndungu, Nicholas Munywoki Mutua, James Kung’u, Cassius Kusienya, Peter Kitheka and Margaret Gichimu.
Maximus Siwa, Kanini Nthiga, Livingstone Mburu, David Kipchumba Ruto and Susan Oyatsi were also appointed to the team.
“The functions of the Committee shall be to scrutinise and analyse the existing National Government pending bills that have accumulated between June 2005 and June 2022 and make recommendations to the Government on settlement of the same;
“They will establish a clearly defined criteria for detailed examination and analysis of such pending bills or claims with a view to determining the genuineness of each or otherwise,” read the statement in part.
Ouko and his team were also tasked with identifying cases of fraudulent claims for further action by agencies such as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
The 18-member team will also develop reforms or measures to prevent pending bills from accumulating.
“The Committee shall prepare and submit to the Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury and Economic Planning within three months after the date of its gazettement, an interim report recommending to the National Treasury settlement or otherwise of pending bills that have been scrutinised.
“Within twelve (12) months after the date of its gazettement, submit a final report and such other reports as the Committee may consider necessary,” read the notice in part.
In July 2023, the Cabinet authorised and approved the establishment of the special committee to look into pending bills. President William Ruto noted that pending bills remain a controversial issue that affects service delivery.
Ouko’s appointment comes a year after he landed a role in spearheading financial reforms in Siaya County.
He vacated office as Auditor-General after an eight-year term in 2019. His tenure in the office saw him get at loggerheads with Uhuru over graft relating to the over Ksh200 billion Eurobond.
While leaving office, he cited political persecution as one of the challenges he faced during his tenure. He further claimed that Uhuru’s government withdrew his security and pension nine months after his term as Auditor General ended.
Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u speaking during the launch of the budget preparation process for the FY 2024/25 on August 18, 2023.
The National Treasury & Economic Planning