The taxpayer in Kiambu may have lost revenue worth over one billion shillings during the 2018-2019 financial year after the management of the regional government gave contradicting revenue balances for the year under review, a report by the Auditor General has revealed.
According to the damning audit report by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, the county government then under former Governor Ferdinand Waititu had Sh2.8 billion in revenue balance in the manual financial statements but in the computerized records it reflected a balance of Sh1.79 billion.
“Comparison of revenue balances in the financial statements and in manual and computerized records disclosed collections totaling Kshs.2, 837,467,787 and Kshs.1, 793,979,141 respectively resulting in an unexplained difference of Kshs.1, 043,488,646,” reads part of the report that has also exposed massive irregularities in payment of imprest .
Further, the county’s own-generated-revenue worth millions may have been stolen or lost after auditors established that while the county collected Sh2.73 billion the balance differed with the sum of Sh2.769 billion as recorded in the county revenue bank statements, which reflects a difference of Sh31, 724,089 which the county was unable to explain.
“In the circumstance, the accuracy and completeness of the county own-generated receipts totaling Kshs.2, 737,467,842 reflected in the statement of receipts and payments for the year ended 30 June, 2019 could not be confirmed,” the report says.
Gatungu has also put the county on the spot for failing to justify questionable expenditure of Sh381 million spent on various items as well as provide procurement records and payment vouchers for expenditure of Sh171 million making it hard for the auditors to scrutinize it.
According to the report, the statement of receipts and payments reflects aggregate payments amounting to Sh14.8 million but payment vouchers for expenditure totaling Sh381 million was spent on various items and proof was not availed for verification and county officials gave no explanation.
“Further, procurement records and payment vouchers for expenditure totaling Sh171 million were not availed for audit as they were reported to have been taken by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC),” the report read in part.
And in move that could be of interest to EACC and piled more woes on Waititu, the former county boss has been fingered for misusing a sum of Sh238 million that was disbursed under the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) to finance completion of a stalled four-storey building for medical wards at Wangige Sub-County Hospital.
According to the auditors, the works had initially been awarded to a contractor at a sum of Ksh220 million in 2014.
“However, out of the total receipts amounting to Sh238 million the County paid shs.143.9 million to various suppliers for items and purposes not related to the funding agreement,” the audit reveals, adding that documents to support the expenditure were not presented for audit review.
“Consequently, the occurrence, regularity, validity and propriety of the KDSP expenditure on construction of the buildings at Wangige Sub-County Hospital could not be confirmed,” she concludes.
During the year under review, the devolved unit is also on the spot for making unsubstantiated payments for fuel totaling Sh166 million to the National Oil Corporation which the auditor said were classified under other expenses.
Further, work tickets, fuel registers and detailed orders were not presented for audit review to confirm receipt and use of the fuel supplies.
“Consequently, the occurrence, propriety and regularity of the expenditure totaling Sh166 million incurred on fuel purchases during the year under review could not be confirmed,” the auditor said.
The county administration, which is now under James Nyoro following the impeachment of Waititu in December 2019, is also on the spotlight for spending Sh12.1 million on purchase of artificial insemination equipment and inputs from the Kenya Animal Genetic Resource Centre.
The report states: “procurement records indicated that the supplies were to be delivered in phases and consequently, some deliveries had not been made as at 30 June, 2019.”
The Youth and Sports department that was then headed by former Ward Rep Karungo Wa Thangwa who was later impeached by MCAs is also on the spot over imprests totaling Sh19.3 million paid on August 10, 2018 to officers to attend the Kenya Inter-County Sports Association (KICOSA) Games held in Kisii County in August, 2018.
Payments were not supported with relevant approvals, imprest warrants, payment vouchers and travel documents such as work or bus fare tickets and signed participants’ attendance lists.
Further, 28 officers, whose names were not disclosed, were paid an allowance of Sh20, 000 each by the department for managing the preparation of county teams’ for the games but the authority granted for the payment was, similarly, not availed for audit.
“In view of the missing information, the occurrence, validity and propriety of the expenditures totaling Kshs.19, 922,000 incurred by the County Executive on KICOSCA Games could not be confirmed,” the report notes.
Further, according to the auditor, the youth department need to explain how procurement was done by open tender and two firms that placed bids amounting to Sh51 million on purchase of sports uniforms for football, basketball and volleyball teams as well as Sh1.7 million and Sh1.8 million spent on purchase of volleyballs and mountain bikes respectively.
However, during the audit the distribution list for 350 volleyballs bought on 4 February, 2019, was not availed for audit review while out of sixty mountain bikes purchased only twenty nine (29) were issued to various youth.
The names of the beneficiaries and confirmation of their having received the bikes were not availed for audit, the report says.
“In the absence of relevant documents, the occurrence, validity and propriety of the payments totalling shs.3.5 million spent on purchase of volleyballs and mountain bikes could not be confirmed,” the auditor said.
Waititu’s administration is also being fingered for Unsupported Kiambu Super Cup Expenditure at a cost of Sh1.9 million paid to an events management services company to manage the launch of Kiambu Super Cup, a football tournament sponsored by the County Government.
The unnamed firm was contracted to supply 100 executive caps, 100 branded t-shirts, 700 badges as well as tea and snacks, lunch and water for 700 people.
However, records to support the payment, including the list of attendees, were not presented for audit review.
The auditor has also questioned the county administration for spending Sh7.4 billion for compensation of employees’ expenditure equivalent to 46 percent of the revenue receipts of Sh16.2 billion received during the year against the threshold of 35 percent set in Regulation 25(1) (b) of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015 .
“Because of the high wage bill, a disproportionate ratio of budgeted funds was spent on staff salaries and emoluments. This may have constrained implementation of development projects and hindered delivery of public services in the County,” the auditor said.
The County is also on the spotlight Procurement of Goods from Unqualified Suppliers amounting to shs.7 million spent on purchases from suppliers who had not been pre-qualified, contrary to Section 93(3) of Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.
During the year under review, the county spent Sh2.8 million and Sh3.9 million on purchase of spare parts and tyres and services respectively.
However, the suppliers were appointed without competitive bidding contrary to Section 91 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.
Further, mechanical reports from the transport department on the defects identified on the vehicles were not presented for audit review.
The auditor has also questioned the High Commission Fees on Revenue Collection and Management Software System.
The expenditure included shs.52.4 million paid to a software development company for provision of an electronic revenue collection and accounting system.
The county is also on the spot for awarding a Contract for Supply of Milk Coolers to Highest Bidder to supply, install, test and commission three milk coolers with capacities of 10,000 litres, 5,000 litres and 2,000 litres for Gathaithi, Kanjai and Bibirioni Centres, respectively.
The contract was awarded to the highest bidder at a price of Kshs.16, 148,000 instead of the lowest whose bid amounted to Kshs10.389,350 leading to possible wastage or theft of Sh5.7 million being the difference between the highest and lowest bid prices.