First Controller of Budget of the Republic of Kenya

Mrs. Agnes Odhiambo is a seasoned Accounting and Financial Management professional who has made considerable contribution in the development and implementation of business strategy, business turnaround, business process improvement, financial reporting, supply chain management, human resource management, financial consultancy and public financial management in both private and public sectors of the Kenyan economy.

Appointed the first Controller of Budget in August 2011, Mrs. Odhiambo has been overseeing and reporting on the implementation of the budgets of the National and County Governments to the National Assembly, Senate, County Assemblies and the Executive on a quarterly basis. During the transition period, the Office of the Controller of Budget was very instrumental in building capacity for the County Governments particularly in budgeting.

During the first year of devolution dispensation, Counties experienced numerous challenges in execution of their budgets which were poorly formulated. Together with other stakeholders under the Kenya Governors Strategic Execution Support (KEGOSES) programme, the Office of the Controller of Budget through the guidance of the Controller of Budget carried out training of the County Executive Committee Members on Devolution & Public Participation, Planning & Budgeting, Budget Execution, Public Finance Management and Monitoring & Evaluation. In order to support the counties further, Mrs Odhiambo has been organizing regular county visits to address pertinent issues on budget execution by the Office of the Controller of Budget. The Office has also reviewed all county budgets and advised counties on formulation of good budgets to enhance budget execution.

Through Mrs. Odhiambo’s guidance, the Office has produced quarterly reports on budget execution and highlighted key issues on the principles of public finance as articulated in the Article 201 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.  Through these reports, the Controller of Budget has been vocal on expenditure on non-core activities particularly conferences and foreign travels. This is in line with the fiscal responsibility principles enumerated in the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

Mrs. Odhiambo has successfully operationalized the Office of the Controller of Budget in terms of infrastructure and human capital by setting up 47 functional county offices to serve the county governments. For smooth delivery of service to the public, Mrs. Odhiambo developed a comprehensive strategic plan to guide the activities of the Office. Further, through her office, Mrs. Odhiambo has ensured that the law is followed before any public resources are spent. For instance, she has ensured that the Appropriation Acts are in place at the beginning of each financial year before the release of funds from the Consolidated Fund and the County Revenue Funds.

From the foregoing it is evident that, Mrs. Odhiambo has imparted fiscal discipline in the budgetary process by ensuring that all items therein are in accordance with the law. Overall, she has initiated regular meetings with the Executive to address fiscal and budgetary issues, particularly the low absorption of development budget by the various government entities and has come up with recommendations that are being implemented. This has impacted positively on the management of public resources at both levels of government.

Through the quarterly Budget Implementation Review Reports and regular Public Participation Forums, Mrs. Odhiambo has ensured that the public has access to information and participates in the development and execution of budgets as stipulated under Section 39(8) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 and Article 35 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

Before her appointment as the Controller of Budget, Mrs. Agnes Odhiambo was the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of the Constituencies Development Fund Board (CDF Board). As the Chief Executive Officer, she was instrumental in its strategy formulation and implementation. She also developed and implemented strategies that led to improved and timely disbursement of funds to the constituencies, project approval cycle and timely auditing of funds released to the Constituencies for project implementation.

Prior to joining the CDF Board, Mrs. Odhiambo worked with the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank (Postbank), as Director, Finance and Administration where she successfully led the financial process reforms that increased the Bank’s profitability through improved investment decisions leading to the growth in the Bank’s total assets. Postbank mobilizes savings for economic development therefore growth in the bank’s assets signifies its major contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, an indicator of economic growth.

Prior to joining the public sector, Mrs Odhiambo worked in the private sector where she started her career as an Assistant Accountant at BAT Kenya in1983 and then joined the then Deloitte Haskins and Sells Management Consultancy Ltd, presently Deloitte in 1984 as a Financial Consultant. She later on joined Unga Limited in 1985 as a Management Accountant where she rose through the ranks to Finance Manager of Unga Feeds Ltd, a subsidiary of Unga Group Limited. In 1998 she joined Metro Cash & Carry (Kenya) Ltd as Finance Manager and was later promoted to Finance Director in-charge of the finance function in both Metro Cash & Carry (Kenya) Ltd and Metro Cash & Carry (Uganda) Ltd in 2003.

Mrs. Odhiambo holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting Option) first class honors degree and a Master of Business Administration degree both from the University of Nairobi. Mrs. Odhiambo is a Certified Public Accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

In November 2015, Mrs. Odhiambo was among seven finalists nominated for the ‘Outstanding Public Service Award” an initiative of the National Civil Society Congress geared towards  recognizing and shedding a positive light on any public office/officer whose leadership and delivery of service has shown tremendous improvement and has had profound impact on the general public.  Through her professionalism and belief in excellent financial management, the Office won the first Runners-up Financial Reporting (FiRe), 2016 and 2017 Awards under the International Public Sector Accounting Standards for Cash Reporting – from the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).  She is a recipient of a Certificate of Commendation by the United Nations System in Kenya in recognition of “Professionalism in the consequential responsibility in championing Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB)” in Kenya.

Mrs. Odhiambo was recently awarded the Chief of Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) commendation by H. E. the President, for her role in national development.

Mrs. Odhiambo has attended several local and international courses in leadership, governance finance, accounting, human resource, supply chain management and information technology among others.  She has also held several board positions both in the private and public sector among them being the Chairperson of the Forum of Chairpersons of Constitutional Commissions and Holders of Independent Offices. She is also a regular key note speaker and panelist in various international and local forums.