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The ICAEW Outstanding Achievement Award

Author: ICAEW

Published: 25 Mar 2024

The background and history of the ICAEW Outstanding Achievement Award and announcement of the 2024 winner.

The Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to ICAEW in 1980 to commemorate its centenary by the four founding societies: Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

It celebrates the work of ICAEW Chartered Accountants across the fields and disciplines in which they have an impact and their efforts to benefit society at large.

It is the profession’s most prestigious award. Nominees can come from the profession, business, academia, the public sector – any walk of life – but they must have made a significant contribution in more than one field of endeavour.

The Award

The statue of Economia, made of sterling silver and weighing 45 Troy ounces, was designed by Charles Halliday and commissioned from Liverpool silversmiths Boodle and Dunthorne. Economia herself is an allegorical figure who has always appeared in ICAEW’s coat of arms: a professional lady crowned with olive, holding dividers in her left hand, a rod in her right, behind her a rudder. The rod symbolises command, the rudder guidance, and the olive garland, that the good economist must necessarily maintain peace. The dividers represent her unique powers of measurement and assessment, as well as her ability to draw perceptive insights from the world around her.

The laureate also receives a replica of the statue, and a citation specifically prepared by the College of Arms.

Find out more about the award and the selection criteria at icaew.com/outstandingachievement

The award is bestowed on a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (“ICAEW”) who has made an outstanding contribution in any field of endeavour.

The Winner of ICAEW’s Outstanding Achievement Award for 2024

The forty-fifth award, that for 2024, has been conferred on

Edward (Eddie) Ouko

in recognition of his exceptional record of public service as Auditor-General of the Republic of Kenya, and his bravery and dedication in combating corruption in the country.

Eddie Ouko

Eddie was the Auditor-General of the Republic of Kenya from 2011 to 2019. As Kenya's first Auditor General following the 2010 promulgation of the Constitution which expanded the scope of audit to include the focus on lawful and effective use of public resources, he was hailed by Kenyans as the most honest, bold, and dedicated Public Servant who did his best to unravel and combat corruption in the country.

Eddie trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Deloitte in London before moving back to Nairobi in 1982 to continue his career with Deloitte. Eddie joined the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 1987 where he worked for over 24 years in various capacities, finally as the Auditor General for the Bank where he directed the audit function and was also in charge of the anti-corruption and fraud function.

Eddie was appointed Auditor-General of the Republic of Kenya in August 2011

One of his most turbulent times in office was when he questioned the Government's expenditure of the controversial Eurobond proceeds. The matter was so emotive that even the President himself publicly lashed out at Eddie for questioning what he claimed was a clear expenditure of the proceeds. His position on the subject further landed him in trouble with lawmakers who threatened to prematurely end his accounting career. Eddie was also at loggerheads with a section of governors whom he linked to mismanagement of public funds in his yearly financial audit reports.

Eddie feared for his life for the eight years he served as Auditor General, and he was more concerned about his safety after his tenure as Auditor General. He stated, "I have been living in fear even when I was still in office, but I'm more afraid now because I am out of office, and I now feel anybody who harboured the ill-motive could never have manifested it during the eight-year tenure period because they knew there was security”.

He was a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the Advisory Board of the Vienna-based International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA). He was Vice-President of the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI) Technical Committee on Knowledge Management and Sharing that is co-ordinating the co-operative audit on corruption as a driver of Illicit Financial Flows and also doubled as the President of the Technical Committee on Knowledge Sharing and Management.

As the Auditor General of the African Development Bank, he was one of the Heads of Investigations of the Multilateral Development Banks’ working group that developed Unified Framework on Harmonized Definitions of Corrupt and Fraudulent practices as well as principles and guidelines for investigations. The Framework was ratified by the Presidents of the MDBs, including the IMF at the World Bank Singapore Meetings in September 2006. The framework was a precursor to a common position on Mutual Recognition and Enforcement of Sanctions (Cross Debarment) by the MDBs and IMF.

Eddie is a Fellow Member of the Institute (FCA) and served as a co-opted Council Member of the Institute representing Africa from 2013 to 2019. He is also a Fellow Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (FCPA) and holds a BCom Degree (Hons) in Finance and Accounting from the University of Nairobi.

This award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales acknowledges Eddie’s exceptional record of public service as Auditor-General of the Republic of Kenya, and his bravery and dedication in combating corruption in the country.