The heavily cash-strapped Government Printer is almost grounding to a halt due to huge sums of money owed by ministries and other state agencies in accumulated debts.
This is according to the Printer’s Chief Executive Officer Abdi Hassan Ali when he met the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and Internal Security on the state of the agency.
Paradoxically, the ministry that owes the highest pending bills is the Ministry of Interior and National Administration to the tune of close to Sh250 million spread across different state departments.
Hassan told the committee members at a recent retreat that the Printer is owed over Sh450 million, making it unable to discharge its mandate to the public.
Documents sent to the committee from Sate House showed various ministries and state agencies owe the Printer a total of Sh454,023,430.
It emerged that the Printer is in dire need of a complete overhaul in terms of equipment and office space which requires significant financial facilitation, and therefore there is urgent need to recover the debts to ease the already overstretched financial resources to procure material required for printing and mitigate audit queries.
The CEO confessed to the committee that at one point he stopped printing title deeds for the Ministry of Lands for a day, before a phone call ‘from above’ which almost cost him his job.
On top of the Ministry of Interior, others who owe the Printer colossal amounts of money in debts include the Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) among others.
Committee vice chairperson Dido Rasso (Saku) assured Ali that they will intervene on the matter to make sure state agencies pay up.
The Government Press is the designated printer of all security related documents including title deeds, log books, birth and death certificates and revenue stamps. It handles printing of documents for ministries, departments and agencies of government and the general public. The Press also produces documents such as budgets, Bills for the National Assembly and Senate, Acts of Parliament and Gazette Notices.