The management of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) is on the spot over irregular utilisation of Sh115 million meant for Covid-19 intervention measures.
Through an audit report by the Auditor-General, MTRH had failed to account for the funds disbursed by the national government meant for Covid-19 intervention.
The report, which was tabled in the National Assembly last year, says the expenditure was not backed by relevant documentation like payment vouchers.
The audit covered the period of March 13, 2020, when the first Covid-19 case was reported in the country to July 31, 2020.
The audit shows that for the period under review, MTRH received Sh764.5 million, which is part of the over Sh214.92 billion that the national government procured in the form of loans from the development partners to help in the fight against Covid-19.
The funds were received in a special deposit account held at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
The funds to MTRH were disbursed in two batches- Sh85 million for the 2019/20 and Sh30 million for the 2020/21 financial years.
Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu now wants the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the hospital management.
“It is recommended that further investigations should be conducted on utilization of the funds to establish any criminal activities,” Gathungu said.
MTRH Chief Executive Officer Dr Wilson Aruasa, while appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly that is considering the special audit report, could not explain how the funds were used.
This is notwithstanding that the hospital management irregularly paid Sh2.7 million health workers’ allowance to non-eligible staff against the circular of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
The audit further shows that Sh1.1 million was recorded as overpayment of frontline workers allowance, which exceeded the SRC recommendations.
“Under the circumstances, the special audit could not confirm the lawfulness and effectiveness of the amount incurred by MTRH,” the special audit says.
But Aruasa, the hospital’s accounting officer, faulted the audit report saying that the expenditure was within the law.
“MTRH would like to clarify that the amount allocated in the two financial years was utilized as per the budget, work plans and procurement plans,” Aruasa told PAC, a watchdog committee that is chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.
Auditors attached to PAC, however, faulted Aruasa for failing to provide the work plans at the time of audit.
The failure by MTRH to account for the funds disbursed by the national government is a glaring violation of the Public Finance Management (Act), which Gathungu has flagged in a special audit on the utilization of the Covid-19 funds.