JSC STATEMENT ON AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT AS COVERED IN THE STANDARD, APRIL 6, 2018, PG 7. [ Download ]
The attention of the Judicial Service Commission has been drawn to a a newspaper article in today’s Standard, April 6, 2018, on page 7, indicating that the Auditor General’s report is accusing the JSC of ‘unsupported board expenditure’ as well as ‘unexplained expenditure increases’ in 2015-2016 as compared to FY 2014-2015.
The Commission wishes to state that the newspaper article is erroneous and a misprepresentation of facts. You will note that JSC responses on every issue raised, are already with the Auditor General, a fact that The Standard may have conveniently ignored in the story
The Commission requests the The Standard newpaper to publish a correction based on the facts below:
- Unsupported Board Expenditure;
The query is that the Commission had meetings that were not accounted for.
In the financial year 2015/2016 the Commission held sittings which included full JSC meeting, committee meetings, Interview Sessions, Complaints Hearing Sessions and Stakeholders engagement forums. In these meetings/sessions, the Commission either developed minutes, verbatim reports of the proceedings or produced reports at the end of the sessions. The Commission therefore confirms that all the recording of these proceedings in minutes form (all duly signed), verbatim hansard reports or specialized reports are available.
It is worth noting that the Commission has already responded to the Auditor General on the above queries and all documentary evidence availed for review.
- Unexplained Expenditure Increases
The querry is that during the year under review, the Commission incurred under the use of goods and services the following expenditure items which had huge unexplained increases;
Foreign travel and subsistence:
Under the Commission’s workplan for the year in question were study tours which were duly undertaken. Further, under the Judiciary Training Institute, several judicial officers participated in foreign training and capacity building activities that involved discussions on emerging jurisprudential issues.
Printing, advertising and information suppliers and services:
This is attributed to the many recruitment activities that were initiated in the year under review which included recruitment for clerical staff, magistrates, high court judges, environment and land judges, supreme court judges and the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice.
The increase in the training budget is attributed to:
- In the year 2014/15 there was a 90 days freeze on training by the Commission to address complaints raised by stakeholders. The training budget absorption, was therefore, of neccesity lower than the subsequent year.
- Secondly in the year 2014/15 the Commission’s suffered a budget cut of Ksh. 100 million out of which Ksh. 27 million was directly under the training budget. The following year 2015/16 when the training budget allocation was restored and increased, more training was carried out thus the expenditure was higher.
Other operating expenses
The high expenditure is attributed high legal fees due to increased litigation against the Commission. The cases include the injunction on the recruitment process of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Supreme Court Judge and the retirement cases among others. This necessitated a supplementary request to increase the legal fees vote in the year.
Once again, it is noted that the Commission has already responded to the Auditor General on all the above matters and availed supporting documentation. Every expenditure incured was properly supported and in acccordance with the Public Finance Management Act 2012. The article therefore smacks of malice and ill will.
The Commission requests that a correction is carried by The Standard to set the public record straight.
The Judicial Service Commission remains committed to its mandate and to the prudent use of public resources allocated to it, for furtherance of the administration of justice.
HON ANNE A. AMADI, CBS.
CHIEF REGISTRAR OF THE JUDICIARY AND SECRETARY, JSC