Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has criticised the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) board of directors over the irregular appointment of Mr Daniel Kiptoo as the Director-General without the requisite qualifications in the latest audit report tabled in parliament.
Mr Kiptoo was Epra acting DG before he was appointed the substantive DG by then Cabinet Secretary in charge of Energy on June 28, 2021.
The audit report before the National Assembly notes that a review of the human resource records and minutes of the Epra board of directors meetings revealed that Mr Kiptoo was appointed DG despite not meeting the relevant minimum experience as required by the Energy Act.
Section 13 (1) of the Energy Act stipulates that the board shall, subject to the approval of the Cabinet Secretary, appoint a DG who shall be the CEO of the authority.
Section 13 (3) (c) (d) of the law goes on to state that a person shall be qualified for appointment as DG if the person has at least seven years of management experience at a senior level and at least two years of experience in petroleum and energy sector.
“A review of the applicant’s documents confirmed that the person lacked the requisite management experience at senior level for appointment as DG. The regularity and suitability in the appointment of the DG was a breach of law,” the audit report says.
The minutes show that the DG position was declared vacant on March 31, 2021, and subsequently advertised on April 27, 2021, following the interdiction of Mr Pavel Oimeke, the former office holder.
The 83rd special meeting of the board held on May 20, 2021, delegated the task of shortlisting the applicants to the Finance and Administration Committee (FAC) of the board.
The committee formed a team consisting of management to oversee the process that attracted 23 applicants.
The board sought the approval of the CS on June 28, 2021, to appoint the DG.
The CS, the documents indicate, appointed the DG on June 28, 2021, whose terms of the offer were accepted and signed by the nominee on the same day instead of the board of directors contrary to the Energy Act.
The audit report indicates that the board held its 79th special board meeting on December 14, 2020, and confirmed the interdiction of Mr Oimeke.
“Upon further deliberations, the members unanimously resolved that a recommendation be made to the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry of Energy for appointment of one of their own, who was representing the CS in the board as the acting DG,” the document reads.
The appointment took effect on December 9, 2020.