November 2019 Businessdaily; The Kenyatta National Hospital is on the spot for hiring private law firms for Sh9.5 million instead of using State advocates to represent it in various cases.
In a report, the then Auditor-General Edward Ouko said Kenya’s largest referral facility violated section 17 (1) and section 17 of the Attorney General Act.
The sections prevent State ministries and departments from engaging consultants to render legal services relating to the functions of the State Law Office General “without the approval of the Attorney-General”.
The report did not mention the names of the law firms that were paid in the financial year 2017/18
Mr Ouko said in the report currently before the National Assembly Public Investments Committee the hospital also did not provide evidence that the KNH sought the Attorney-General nod before engaging the firms.
“In the circumstances, the propriety of legal expenditure totalling Sh9,525,000 paid to the private legal firms cannot be confirmed,” reads the audit report.
The hospital, however, says that the provisions of the law cited by the Auditor-General only talks about ministries and departments and does not mention State corporations.
The hospital also pointed out that under the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015, it had a prequalified panel of 37 law firms for 2016-18 from which it picked private firms to represent it in various legal interventions.