ICPAK CHAIR & COUNCIL PAYS COURTESY CALL ON THE CHIEF REGISTRAR
The Council of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) called on the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Hon. Anne A. Amadi, CBS on 24th March 2021 to explore areas of cooperation between the two institutions in discharging their respective mandates. The ICPAK delegation was led by Council Chairperson FCPA Rose Mwaura and Vice Chair, FCPA George Mokua. Others were ICPAK Council Members FCPA Samuel Okello, CPA Anne Wangeci, CPA Risper Olick, FCPA Dr. Nicholas Letting and the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to Council, CPA Edwin Makori.
The Chief Registrar was joined at the meeting by the Judiciary’s Assistant Director of Finance, CPA Philip Kakai, the Director of Internal Audit, CPA Ronald Wanyama, the Acting Director of Finance, CPA Susan Oyatsi, and the Chief Accounts Controller, CPA Wycliffe Wanga, all members of ICPAK.
The Council thanked the Chief Registrar for the support that the Judiciary has offered to its Accountants who are members of the Institute through the payment of their ICPAK subscriptions and facilitation to participate in the Institute’s meetings and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) sessions.
As the statutory body responsible for promoting the standards of professional competence and practice amongst members of the Institute, the Council expressed its willingness to participate in the recruitment of accountants for the Judiciary through screening their suitability, integrity and professional standing before they are recruited.
The Council also requested the Judiciary to refer to the Institute disciplinary cases involving accountants given that the Institute has a regulatory mandate entrenched in the Accountants Act, 2008 that establishes how to discipline members who contravene the professional Code of Conduct. Such referral would also enable the Institute to inform other employers of members who seek fresh employment after facing disciplinary proceedings at the Judiciary.
The deliberations also covered collaboration in training, with ICPAK offering tailor-made training to the Judiciary and the JSC Audit Committees on taxation and complex financial matters. ICPAK also offered to work with the Judiciary in technical areas that include automated accounting systems, financial reporting, and monitoring in tandem with the PFM Act and other financial management regulations which are within the ambit of the Institute.
The accountants body also called for the selection of more accountants to Tribunals which are housed under the Judiciary, noting that this would enhance professional resolution of matters finance, tax and accounting given that several matters that fall within the jurisdiction of Tribunals have financial aspects that would be better resolved with the participation of accountancy professionals. The Council also offered the expertise of its members who are willing to participate as expert witnesses in commercial disputes and cases involving white collar crime.
The Council also requested the Judiciary to offer internship opportunities to the budding accountants to help hone their skills in various areas/departments and specifically, the Accounting/ Finance sections of the Judiciary.
Additionally, the ICPAK Council is keen on collaboration with the Judiciary on institutional research initiatives that are within the realm of accountancy and law.
ICPAK and the Judiciary already have a strong relationship, and the Chief Registrar indicated that the Judiciary was open to working with ICPAK on areas of mutual interest, including in training for the Judiciary’s Audit Committees and in building the capacity of the nascent Internal Audit Directorate. She also welcomed the support in the automation of the Judiciary’s systems and processes.
The Institute has a representative in the Mediation Accreditation Committee and this is an opportunity for accountants to be accredited as Mediators to assist the Courts in resolving disputes.
The Chief Registrar was happy to note that in November 2020, ICPAK Chairperson Rose Mwaura and Western Region Chairperson Antony Opondo urged Parliament to allocate at least three per cent of the national budget to the Judiciary, adding that the Judiciary is a key arm of the government that deserves to be well-funded.
Judges have also participated in the Institute’s trainings as facilitators, and two senior staff have served in the ICPAK Council. CPA Susan Oyatsi served two terms in the ICPAK Council from 2014 to 2017 while CPA Philip Kakai joined the ICPAK Council in 2020.
In addition to the referral of disciplinary cases to the Institute, the Chief Registrar recommended a proactive strategy towards mainstreaming ethics in the accounting profession in the Judiciary rather than a reactive approach.
“We are not happy to dismiss our accountants, some of whom are young people at the start of their careers, with young families to take care of. We welcome the opportunity to work with ICPAK on practical ethics training and other preventive approaches that will help them to understand and operate within the law instead of waiting to discipline and dismiss them,” said the Chief Registrar.
The CRJ reported that the JSC has began deliberations on the ruling which required Tribunals to be moved to the Judiciary. She noted, however, that even where the JSC calls for applications for Members of Tribunals that operate under the Judiciary, the bulk of applications are sent by Advocates even where the advertisement calls for members from other fields. She urged the Council to publish Tribunal vacancy ads among their members and to urge them to submit applications when they are called.
Following the discussions, the two institutions will work on a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the relationship and advance the collaboration.
The ICPAK Council also interacted with Judiciary Accountants based at the Supreme Court Building who are members of the Institute.