Counties in the Coast may have misused more than Sh122.2 million meant to fight Covid-19 since April last year, the Auditor-General says.
The audit flagged more than Sh212 million in questionable expenditure from March to July 2020. Mombasa leads the six counties, with the audit identifying irregularities in the award about 30 tenders valued at more than Sh177 million.
Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu accuses Tana River county of failing to account for more than Sh19 million of its Sh87.1 million Covid-19 budget, while the Taita-Taveta administration will be investigated on how it spent Sh16 million.
The report criticises Kwale and Kilifi county officials for not approving work, budget and training plans of the coronavirus own-source revenue.
Irregularities in Mombasa include awarding tenders to ineligible bidders, giving medical allowances to non-medical staff, failure to notify bidders of the tender outcome and not inspecting purchased items.
Seliyani Ventures Ltd was awarded a Sh590,300 tender to supply and deliver safety gear. The money has been paid.
The audit established that the company was awarded the contract in March 2020 yet its tax compliance certificate had expired on January 31.
While filing its report, the county did not include the Sh32.3 million expenditure incurred by the Health department.
Tana River spent some of the money without work and procurement plans.
The county government relied on an unauthenticated plan, therefore flouting financial rules.
The audit accuses the administration of irregular management of Sh6.8 million. Also flagged are procurement methods in contracts valued at Sh9.8 million.
The report questions the spending of part of Sh153 million by Taita Taveta county received to fight the virus.
It wants the Governor Granton Samboja administration investigated in the procurement of beds, mackintosh mattresses and masks in May and June 2020.
There was also an unapproved expenditure of Sh7.9 million.
“The audit notes that request for quotation procedures were not followed and there was no evidence of bidders’ invitation, evaluation minutes, professional opinion and award to successful bidders,” the report says.
Kilifi, which had pending bills of Sh20 million by the time of audit, spent an additional of Sh60 million without a budget. The county opted for direct procurement.
“Money for frontline workers was neither budgeted for in the supplementary budget nor was it in the 2020/21 financial year plan,” the report says.
Reported by Anthony Kitimo, Stephen Odour, Siago Cece, Charles Lwanga and Lucy Mkanyika