Special audit of pending bills in counties begins

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu declares a gift presented to her by Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno in Eldoret on March 23. Operations in counties have slowed due to delayed disbursements by the National Treasury.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

The Auditor-General has begun looking into pending bills in the 47 county governments to determine their debt status.

Through a notice, Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu asked suppliers and contractors to submit relevant documents for verification. She did not specify when the audit would end.

The audit, the second since 2017, comes at a time operations in devolved governments have been crippled by a drop in own-source revenue and delayed release of funds by the National Treasury.

Suppliers and contractors are to complete “Form A” and attach other documents before submitting to regional offices.

The documents needed are registration certificates, KRA pin certificate, latest CR12 certificate and contract agreements.

Others are local purchase orders or local service orders, delivery notes, invoices, work interim or completion certificates and demand notes.

 Receive the documents

 “Every Form A page A must be duly signed and stamped by the person submitting. Submit the duly completed and signed Form A and the required documents to the regional offices or through the e-mail,” the Auditor-General said in the notice.

Mombasa, Garissa, Embu, Machakos, Nyeri, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kakamega, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Nairobi are the regional offices that will receive the documents.

The regional office in Mombasa will, for instance, receive documents from Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Taita Taveta counties while Kakamega, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and Busia contractors will drop theirs at the Kakamega office.

Their colleagues in Vihiga, Kisumu, Siaya and Kericho have been attached to the regional office in Kisumu.

During Madaraka Day celebrations in 2019, President Kenyatta directed state offices to settle pending bills without audit queries on or before the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

Mr Kenyatta also directed payment for supplies to the two levels of government processed and made promptly.

Pending bills

 “Unfortunately, pending bills have negatively affected businesses, particularly those whose bulk of capital is locked in non-payment. This has reduced spending and business activity,” the President said.

The directive led to a special audit of bills in which devolved governments were required to start paying verified debts.

It was followed by withholding of disbursements to counties that had not settled some bills, leading to delays in staff salaries.

During the release of the mid-term review report last week, Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo said his administration owes suppliers and contractors Sh800 million and committed to complete paying by the end of this year.