The Kiambu County government is on the spot over an alleged irregular expenditure of more than half a billion shillings in the financial year ending June 30, 2019.
In a damning report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu, the administration has been fingered for spending Sh551.8 million without supporting payment vouchers. According to the report, only receipts and payments amounting to Sh14.8 million were made available.
“Management did not provide any explanation for the failure to present the records for audit. Consequently, the accuracy, completeness and validity of expenditures totalling Sh551,819,258 could not be confirmed,” the auditor said.
‘Vouchers with EACC’
However, the county executive defended itself, saying, vouchers amounting to Sh171 million and another Sh223 million are with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
“Therefore, out of the balance of Sh157.6 million, only vouchers worth Sh19.3 million have been retrieved and are available for audit. Subsequently, we do agree with the auditor’s observation to the extent that the balance of Sh138.3 million could not be accounted for and therefore we have written to the then accounting officer to explain the anomaly,” the county said in its response.
At the same time, the county executive was flagged for paying Sh235.5 million imprest to five county officers for purposes that could not be established.
This is after the county executive spent the money without recording it in the imprests register. It also allegedly omitted payments from the final list of outstanding imprests.
Although, the county executive indicated that the imprests were spent on operational activities, records on the actual expenditure items were not made available for audit.
“Further, contrary to the provisions of Regulation 93(4) of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015, the recipients were issued with multiple imprests, some on the same day, even though they had not accounted for previous ones,” read part of the audit report.
The county government admitted to the anomaly, saying, it has commenced disciplinary processes against the officers still under the county public service.
“For officers who are not with the county public service, we have written letters to notify them to account for the funds,” said the county in its response.
Former governor Ferdinand Waititu has also been fingered for unsupported expenditure on foreign travel and subsistence costs totalling Sh91.8 million. Under focus are travels to the United States of America, China and Slovakia by the ex-governor and several members of his cabinet.
Regarding the US, the governor and three officers incurred Sh2.6 million on travel and accommodation. However, according to the report, records on travel allowances paid to the delegation were not presented for audit.
Further, the records showed the duration of the trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, was extended to August 6, 2018 in order to, reportedly, accommodate several meetings with potential investors.
The National Governors Association 2018 summer meeting was to be held between July 18 and 22.
No Santa Fe visit
However, records, including air tickets, indicated that the delegation travelled to various states and cities, including Detroit, but not Santa Fe, the cited venue of the meeting.
No explanation was given for the anomaly nor was there evidence confirming whether the delegation held meetings with investors as had been purported.
The county government agreed with the auditor’s observation and said it had written to Mr Waititu and the three officers to account for the anomaly.
On the China trip, the Auditor-General revealed that Sh1.5 million was paid to a travel services provider for air tickets for the governor and county staff in September, 2018. The firm’s services were procured through single-sourcing contrary to procurement regulations.
On the 10-day visit to Slovakia, Sh2.8 million was spent in January, 2019 but the county did not produce supporting documents.