alexa Audit queries Kisii County’s Sh1.26bn in unsettled bills - Daily Nation

Audit queries Kisii County’s Sh1.26bn in unsettled bills

Sunday November 3 2019

public funds misuse

Kisii Governor James Ongwae addresses delegates during the Lake Region Economic Bloc summit in the county on January 10, 2019. An audit report indicates disregard of finance laws by the county's officers. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AMINA WAKO
By AMINA WAKO
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An audit report for the 2017/2018 financial year shows that Kisii County had pending bills of Sh1.26 billion but had no documents to support the claim.

The report by Mr Edward Ouko, the former Auditor-General, further says the county used Sh255 million of its own-generated revenue at the source, meaning the money was never banked but was used immediately after it was received from different sources.

For the period under review, the county did not maintain cash books for the maternal healthcare, fuel levy and national agricultural and rural inclusive growth project accounts.

Payments in support of the imprests surrendered revealed that some officers applied for money on behalf of others and who were in turn paid through schedules.

However, it was not explained why officers whose names were in Ifmis were not directly issued with imprests but rather through their colleagues.

PROCUREMENT
The county procured goods worth Sh25 million through restricted tendering even though advertisements were not placed on its website regarding the intention to procure through the method as required under section 102 of the public procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.

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Section 102 (1) says an accounting officer of a procuring entity may use restricted tendering if any of the following conditions are satisfied: (a) Competition for contract, because of the complex or specialised nature of the goods, works or services is restricted to pre-qualified tenderers resulting from the procedure under section 94; (b) the time and cost required to examine and evaluate a large number of tenders would be disproportionate to the value of the goods, works or services to be procured, and (c) if there is evidence to the effect that there are only a few known suppliers of the whole market of the goods, works or services.

The Auditor-General also noted that the procurement and disposal plan amount exceeded the budgeted amount by Sh696 million, breaching section 53(2) of the procurement Act, 2015.

REVENUE PROJECTION
The audit found that Sh450 million used to buy “Wireless Access point corporate” was charged under construction of roads line items, which was not in the budget.

Section 53(2) states that an accounting officer shall prepare an annual procurement plan, which is realistic in a format set out in the regulations within the approved budget prior to commencement of each financial year as part of the annual budget preparation process.

The county had estimated to collect Sh9 million in the form of coffee and tea cess in the 2017/2018 financial year but no revenue was collected even though tea and coffee farming are major activities in the county.

The land register in LAIFOMS indicated arrears in property rates amounting to Sh112.5 million as of June 30, 2018. The amount decreased from Sh279 million reported in the 2016/2017 financial year.

WAGE BILL

In 2017/2018, only Sh2.2 million was collected and indicated in the financial statement, leaving Sh164 million unaccounted for.

It was not clear how the property arrears reduced with such a big margin which did not translate into revenue collections.

Employee salaries accounted for 47 per cent of the total county revenue, which is above the 35 per cent limit provided for under the law, and the auditor noted the increase in the wage bill may affect the implementation of development projects.

It was also noted that the county Public Service Board did not have a human capital plan and approved staff establishment in place as required under regulation 119(2) of the public Finance Management (County Government) Regulations, 2015.