Tana River County cannot explain how it spent Sh596 million in the 2017/18 financial year.
According to the Auditor General Edward Ouko’s latest report, the administration spent Sh360 million to pay for unexplained services.
Through transactions listed as ‘‘other payments”, Mr Ouko says the devolved unit could not provide supporting documents to show how it spent the millions of shillings.
“Consequently, the propriety, accuracy and completeness of the of Sh360,644,879 as reported as other payments could not be confirmed,” said Mr Ouko in his report.
He further pointed out that the Governor Dhadho Godhana-led administration had paid contractors Sh191 million for refurbishment of buildings in the county.
However, the devolved unit could not show how it spent Sh164 million by providing key supporting documents.
On projects worth Sh26 million, documents such as bills of quantities, contract agreement and company profile of the winning and losing bidders were also not provided.
Mr Ouko said this led to the county government not to ascertain the validity of Sh191, 225, 133 expenditure.
The county executive also spent Sh41 million for foreign travel and subsistence. However, payments record and other relevant documents were not provided to Mr Ouko for audit.
In the circumstances, Mr Ouko said, it was not possible to confirm the accuracy, validity and probity of the expenditure.
The government also spent Sh12.2 million for supply and delivery of fuel for use by county officials. The amount was paid to two suppliers.
It, however, emerged that 30,777 litres of fuel bought at Sh3.4 million were supplied to privately-owned vehicles and those belonging to national government departments.
“No proper explanation was provided for supplying of fuel to vehicles that do not belong to the county executive. In addition, the amount reflected under this line item is Sh4,818,900, leading to unexplained difference of Sh7,431,188,” said Mr Ouko.
The Nation also learnt that the executive failed to establish an audit committee to oversee financial operations of the county and also support its accounting officers with regard to their responsibilities.
Establishment of an audit committee is a requirement as per the Public Finance Management Act 2012.
In the absence of an audit committee, Mr Ouko says, the management can easily override controls. “In such instances, cases of fraud and errors may not be detected or corrected in a timely manner,” he says.