Seven universities cannot account for huge sums of money, Auditor General General Edward Ouko says in a report highlighting widespread financial mismanagement.
In his 2016-17 report, Ouko flagged many suspicious transactions. He cited missing crucial transaction records, unexplained expenditures, violation of procurement regulations, unsurrendered imprest and abandoned projects.
The audited universities unable to explain major spending include Maseno University, Kenyatta University, Kabianga University, the University of Eldoret, Multimedia University, Moi University and the Cooperative University of Kenya.
At Moi University, the audit report says the institution could not account for Sh25,476,385, which it claimed was advanced to its officers as imprest.
The university also could not explain why it has not recovered the unsurrendered imprest. Records show it was to be surrendered by the end of June 2017.
The report indicates the university paid Sh4,818,280 to construct the main gate, which was half-done. “Physical verification of the project revealed the project is incomplete and the contractor has abandoned the project after being paid the full contract sum,” the report shows.
Available information indicates the gate is only 60 per cent complete, the report says. The management explained there were omissions in the bill of quantities and the structural drawings. The stalled gate project started on January 23, 2017, and was projected to last 16 months.
At Maseno University, Ouko flagged what appears to be a systematic breach of Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations, raising questions whether the university obtained value for money in a number of transactions.
For instance, the university spent Sh11,768,240 to buy a 67-seater bus through restricted tendering. Only six suppliers were invited to apply, as opposed a minimum of 10 required by PPDR.
The university also breached the procurement law when it directly purchased a Sh6,235,279 ambulance without competitive tendering.
Ouko’s report also revealed that Maseno University has not complied with Section 143 of the Public Finance Management Regulations 2015. The regulations require all government agencies to provide detailed fixed-asset registers, indicating value, date of acquisition, description and location of assets in its possession.
“In the absence of the register, the accuracy, existence and ownership by the university of assets valued at Sh2,305,562,999 reported under property, plant and equipment cannot be confirmed,” the report says.