State Department for Coordination of National Government is once again on the spot over millions of shillings it is unable to account for in the last financial year.
In a damning report by Auditor-general Edward Ouko for the year ending June 30, 2016, the Auditor raised fears that the country might lose millions of shillings in dubious activities at the ministry.
The report claimed Sh11, 545, 948 were fraudulently paid for water bills for the year 2015/2016 with the ministry demonstrating inaction in recovering the amount one year down the line.
“Examination of a sample of water bills from seven prison stations revealed that bills totaling Kshs. 11,545,660 were paid and thereafter recycled for payment resulting in unexplained double payments,” said Ouko in the report.
“No action has been taken to recover the amount totaling Sh11,545,660 that was paid fraudulently,” he added.
Ouko also faulted the State department for the faulty manner it is keeping its assets register which the Auditor noted makes its impossible to verify and confirm existence and completeness of the assets acquired and issuance, use and disposal of assets.
The report also revealed worrying differences between the Financial statements and trial balance of the department making the accuracy of the actual financial position of the critical government department in limbo.
The failure to maintain assets register contradicts the requirements of Regulation 144 of the Public Finance Management (National Government) Regulations, 2015.
The report also pointed out an irregularity where the State Department spent Sh. 51, 562, 948 to lease offices without any contract agreement contrary to Section 135 o the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.
“During the year under review, the State Department incurred an expenditure of Sh 67, 527, 078 on rental of produced assets. However, the State Department paid Sh. 14, 305, 740 and Sh 37, 257, 208 for lease of office spaces at Re-Insurance Plaza and Teleposta Tower, respectively without valid lease or contract agreements contrary,” the report stated.
“In the circumstances, it is not possible to confirm the validity and propriety of lease payments totaling Sh 51,562, 948 made for the offices spaces,” added Ouko.
Ouko’s report also claimed the entire Sh 231, 232, 519 from Prisons Industries and Farms Revolving Funds deposited into the ministry’s headquarters account was misappropriated with no recoveries made to date.
“As reported in the previous years, the Kenya Prisons Service initiated biogas projects in fourteen (14) Prisons across the country at an estimated cost of Sh. 122, 129, 538 out of which an expenditure totaling Sh 95, 758, 296 was incurred. However, none of these projects were operational as of 30 June, 2016,” Ouko stated.