Drought control body fails to account for Sh4bn - Daily Nation

Disaster control agency fails to account for Sh4 billion

Friday November 9 2018

financial management

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. He has highlighted National Drought Management Authority's financial mismanagement. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMWEL OWINO
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The National Drought Management Authority cannot account for Sh4 billion meant to assist vulnerable Kenyans in times of disaster.

According to an audit report for the year ended June 2017, tabled in the National Assembly on Wednesday morning, the authority failed to produce documents on how Sh2.3 billion was utilised.

According to the report, the authority did not have a documented basis on how beneficiaries of Sh2.3 billion were identified and the rates used for payment.

“In the circumstances, the validity of the expenses cannot be confirmed,” Auditor-General Edward Ouko says in his report.

CASH TRANSFERS

Mr Ouko also points out that the authority failed to provide documents for the auditing of a further Sh1.7 billion relating to expenses under the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP).

“The expenditures and the receipts are based on requisitions made to fund various activities, but accountability documentation in support of the expenses has not been provided for audit verification,” the report reads.

Records indicate that through HSNP, more than 600,000 of Kenya’s most vulnerable people have access to cash transfers on a regular basis, and up to 2,100,000 people have benefited from emergency cash transfers in times of drought or floods.

The first phase of HSNP in the country reached 69,000 households in four northern Kenya counties, with cash transfer payments every two months.

The goal of the programme is to reduce poverty, hunger and vulnerability in the focused counties, resulting in better and more sustainable safety nets for poor households.

DONOR FUNDS

Households receiving the regular bi-monthly cash transfers have been selected from the poorest 10 percent in each county, using a combination of Community-Based Targeting and Proxy Means Testing. The number of beneficiary households will gradually increase to 100,000.

The report also indicates that about Sh13 million that was channelled to counties was not utilised and that there were no confirmations from the respective county offices of the amounts held at the end of the financial year.

The auditor, however, does not mention the counties, even as he concludes that the accuracy of the millions in question cannot be confirmed.

Spotlight has been shown on the authority for failing to account for Sh11 million donor funds that were meant to assist drought victims.

Mr Ouko says the management failed to reconcile its bank balance, hence the accuracy of Sh11 million received from United Nations Development Programme, World Food Programme and other donors cannot be confirmed.