Taxpayers lost a staggering Sh9.5 billion for various contracts awarded for the supply of goods and services during last year’s General Election and repeat presidential poll.
A report by the Auditor General Edward Ouko for the year ended June, 2017 tabled in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, indicates that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission cannot account for up to Sh9.5 billion.
The report reveals massive wastage of public funds on goods that were procured by the commission that were either not delivered despite payment having been made or delivered but not used.
515 SIM CARDS
Mr Ouko says in his report that despite Sh47 million of taxpayers’ money used to buy the BVR kit internal batteries in January 2017, they have not been used to date for unknown reasons.
The audit reveals that IEBC bought excess data bundles for last years’ August poll where it purchased 149,640.5GB of data bundles valued at Sh127, 625,926 million however only 605.3 GB valued at Sh515, 269 were utilised resulting into a wastage bundles valued at Sh127, 109,656. The bundles were procured from Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom.
The electoral commission at the same time procured 515 SIM cards for the repeat presidential election which were never delivered leading to a loss of Sh4.5 million.
The report also indicates that IEBC mismanaged 1,000 Thuraya Modems and SIM cards loaded with data.
The first batch of 700 and 300 Thuraya satellite data modems and SIM cards with unlimited bundles were delivered and distributed to the constituencies before the General Election. However, only 339 modems and cards with data of only 4 GB were used.
“In the circumstances, the lawfulness, authorisation and value for money of the expenditure of Sh119.7 million cannot be confirmed as required under Section 68(1) of the Public Finance and Management Act, 2012,” the report states.
Mr Ouko further reveals that IEBC procured additional 42,927 ballot boxes for the presidential election at a rate of Sh2,500 instead of Sh2,250 offered by the supplier resulting in an excess payment of Sh10 million.
In the supply of the gas lamp mantles, the report says the contract was irregularly awarded as the winning bidder failed to submit a sample as was indicated in the tender advertisement.
“Records also show that the commission did not eliminate the firms from the process, instead awarded the contract for supplying gas lamp mantles to the same firm at Sh5.5 million,” says Mr Ouko.
An audit verification undertaken in 29 counties indicate inconsistencies in the lamp maintained at IEBC warehouses and those supplied to the constituencies. As a result, 66,540 cannot be accounted for.
The electoral commission is also on the spot over excess payment in the contract of supply and delivery of badges.
The commission according to the report awarded a contract for the supply of and delivery of Sh550, 381 badges to a construction company at Sh44 million. However the auditor points out that the initial cost of the contract was Sh9.5 million resulting to an excess payment of Sh34 million.