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Auditor-General Questions Expenditure Of Sh108 Billion As Corruption Rocks Counties

Auditor general Edward Ouko. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

New audit report has exposed the rot in county governments with inaccuracies amounting to billions of shillings thriving in a number of counties.

In the new findings, Auditor-General Edward Ouko has revealed that county governments cannot account for Sh108 billion which can be directly linked to pending bills.

The Daily Nation reported that some counties awarded tenders without due regard of budgetary allocations.

Nevertheless, the issue of corruption cannot be out of question as the report exposes massive graft, careless planning and total disregard of procurement of guidelines.

The report, further questions the authenticity of some bills, with some pointing to fictitious claims made by some devolved governments.

As a result of poor financial management, doing business with county governments has become risky for contractors, suppliers and entrepreneurs because of delayed payments.

According to Ouko, the situation is getting worse as some of the counties are facing bankruptcy suits and social conflicts.

The report puts Tana River on the spot over Sh1.6 billion outstanding bill as at June 30, 2018.

According to the Auditor-General, there were no proper documents to show the opening balance, additions, amounts settled during the year and the closing balance.

He further states that crucial details such as project contract numbers were not provided in the review, making it difficult to reconcile payments against outstanding balances.

“The huge amount of outstanding pending bills implies that the executive irregularly entered into commitments without approved budgets or funds budgeted for goods, works and services,” Mr Ouko said.

In Tharaka Nithi county, the Auditor-General noted inaccuracies amounting to Sh417,114,54 in development and expenditure bills.

The amount could not be confirmed as payment vouchers and original documentations used to verify debts by a committee put in place were not provided.

In Taita Taveta County,  Ouko questions pending bills totaling to Sh542,570,414.

Ouko stated that the County government did not confirm the availability of money before signing supply contracts with third parties.

Further, an additional Sh251,436,927 in pending accounts payable to the Youth and Sports Department was omitted from the total amount.

In Siaya County, a total of Sh759,702,185 could not be verified.

The cumulative bills listed, could not be supported by local purchase orders, invoices, delivery notes and works completion certificates.

The Auditor-General also found inaccuracies totaling to Sh1.7 billion out of Sh2 billion quoted pending bill payments.

The Auditor-General noted that no certificate of work done was made available for audit verification.

The report comes in the wake of increased attacks on the office of the Director of Criminal Investigations DCI Geroge Kinoti who has been accused of politicizing the war against graft.

Kinoti has been on the receiving end with a section of leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto accusing him of being President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ‘errand boy’.

Read:Auditor General Denies Report On Mombasa Port Take Over By China Over Debt

In a rejoinder, Kinoti has reiterated that he won’t be cowed.

“I will not be blackmailed, and I will not keep off,” he told the Daily Nation.

“Tell those who are abusing me in political rallies that Kinoti is unshakable, and that I will not allow billionaires to enjoy their ill-gotten wealth in peace.”

His sentiments comes barely a week after he handed over files on Arror and Kimwarer dams’ scandal to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

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