Team to probe county audit records

From left: Governors Mwangi wa Iria, Wycliffe Oparanya and Ferdinand Waititu after a consultative meeting between the Council of Governors and the office of the Auditor-General and the Controller of Budget in Nairobi on May 7, 2019. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Last week, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was put on the spot by the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee over the Sh2.1 billion audit queries

  • The Auditor-General’s report have also exposed Kakamega, Kitui, Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties for reportedly spending hundreds of millions of shillings on national government functions.

The Council of Governors has formed a joint committee with the National Treasury, Auditor-General and Controller of Budget to probe county audit records showing bizarre spending in the 2017/18 financial year.

The committee has 14 days to come up with a report documenting why counties have been flagged for erroneous spending. according to CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya.

During this period, the council has requested the Senate to suspend appearances by governor summoned to respond to audit queries regarding the financial year 2017/18.

AUDIT QUERIES

Last week, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was put on the spot by the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) over the Sh2.1 billion audit queries that included questionable payments for functions performed by the national government.

But Auditor General’s report have also exposed Kakamega, Kitui, Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties for reportedly spending hundreds of millions of shillings on national government functions.

The concern is on what the monies were spent on, after State House denied sharing budgets with counties and whether the Office of the Controller of Budget conducted due diligence on the expenditure proposals sent by governors for approval.

But on Tuesday, Mr Oparanya appeared to blame the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) for the erroneous representation of county audits. He said a review of what counties presented to the budget controller is entirely different from what has been generated on Ifmis.

“The council observes that no money was spent on the said national government highlighted budget lines. This is because budgets appropriated at the county levels are we defined and do not have conflicting programme codes with the national government programmes.

“This therefore confirms the reason for which the budgets were approved by the controller of budget at the beginning of the financial year for the purpose of withdrawal of county funds from the County Revenue Funds Accounts,” Mr Oparanya said.

IFMIS

Mr Oparanya demanded a forensic audit of Ifmis which is housed at the national Treasury.

Separately, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru denied allegations the county spent money on "State House affairs" and has taken a swipe at the Ifmis director, calling for his resignation.

"These official documents are available for inspection and were the basis for all County expenditure duly approved by the Controller of Budget. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of accounting would know that there cannot be a budget line for the said State House Affairs in the budget execution report at County Level," she said.

But Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge said some counties were not following the correct procedures when recording expenditure on Ifmis, hence leading to the generation of wrong reports.

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