Nancy Gathungu: The New No-Nonsense Auditor General

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Nancy Janet Kabui Gathungu was on Friday July 17 sworn in as the next Auditor General in the presence of Chief Justice David Maraga at the Supreme Court.

She takes over ten months after the retirement of Auditor General Edward Ouko in August 2019.

While taking the oath of office on Friday afternoon, Gathungu said her priority will be to clear the audit backlog as soon as possible while adhering to the Health Ministry’s protocols on Covid-19.

Nancy Gathungu being sworn into office as the next Auditor General on Friday July 17. Source: Twitter

“Owing to the gap that existed between the expiry of Ouko and her recruitment, there has been a backlog of audit reports spanning a period of 11 months,” she said.

The Auditor General said she will be to put up mechanisms to clear backlog so that entities may hold their annual general meetings and donors can also get feedback on spending of the projects they support.

“The work of this office is critical. I will hold this office in public trust and will look up to to the judiciary and Parliament as I carry out my duties,” she said.

The new Auditor General said her tenure will be based on four pillars: Independence, credibility, relevance and accountability.

Maraga urged Gathungu to ensure she is not intimidated by any external or internal forces in fulfilling her duties.

New Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. Photo: Courtesy

“You will step on very thick toes but you are required to discharge your duties without fear or favour,” the CJ advised.

The CJ promised to give her all the support she needs in the discharge of her new duties.

But who is Nancy Janet Kabui Gathungu?

Gathungu comes from Nyeri and is an experienced Auditor who worked as an insider in the Office of the Auditor General.

She is an expert in quality assurance, IT audit, staff development and international liaison.

She has a cumulative total of 26 years of experience working in the public sector both the external and internal audit.

Between 2000-06, she worked as the Chief Internal Auditor at the Kenyatta National Hospital,

Between September 2010 and Jan 2014, Gathungu was Deputy Director of theKenya National Audit Office (KENAO). It is after her time at KENAO that she joined the Office of the Auditor General.

In the first attempt of filling the AG’s position, the applicants had academic and technical qualifications but lacked unique aspects such as independence, tactfulness and diplomacy to manage the relationship between three arms of the government.

She sought to be the first Auditor General under the 2010 Constitution but was rejected. However, she did not lose hope.

Her big break came when she was on Friday June 19 nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the next Auditor General.

“Gathungu was the first among the top three (3) candidates presented to His Excellency the President for nomination by the Recruitment Panel for the Selection of the Auditor General as set out in law,” State House spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo said in a statement on June 19.

Currently, Nancy is a Strategic Management PhD candidate at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). She also holds an MBA in Strategic Management and Bachelor Degree of Commerce (Accounting Option). She holds a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) (K) and is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

She is also a member of ICPAK, ISACA and Association of Women Accountants (AWAK), Advisory Committee at KNH, HIV/AIDS Coordinating committee among others.

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