A total of 29 county assemblies organised trips but failed to provide supporting documents for audit, with an expenditure of Sh500 million in doubt.
So bad is the situation in the regional assemblies that others such as Kiambu failed to account for every single coin they received for domestic trips.
An audit of the travel expenditure by the National Taxpayers Association as captured in the 2016/2017 Auditor-General’s report also showed that Kisumu failed to account for 80 percent of the funds, Nandi (60 percent), Bungoma (53.7 percent) and Tharaka Nithi (40.4 percent).
Out of the Sh2.28 billion domestic travel expenditure, Sh366 million was unsupported, as well as Sh123.6 million of the Sh386.7 million expenditure for foreign travel, the audit showed.
In foreign travel, both Lamu and Samburu counties failed to provide supporting documents for 100 percent of the funds they used, with Nandi, Isiolo, and Bungoma following closely.
“In Kericho, the assembly literally moved with 62 meetings outside the precincts totalling Sh131 million. The county assembly did not demonstrate the need to travel and sit away from the assembly. Out of 1,159 committee meetings totalling Sh187.3 million, only 18 reports and six statements were tabled in the assembly,” the analysis by the NTA showed.
Also highlighted by the taxpayers’ report is Tharaka Nithi. In the 2016/2017 financial year, the county paid Sh45 million in salaries but failed to provide payroll data because “the anchor information payroll system had crashed.”
The county then spent Sh540,000 to recover the data and recovered everything except the payroll data.
“How was this possible? Did it then have value for money? Why didn’t the county have a backup system?” asked NTA.
In West Pokot, the assembly put up a restaurant and car park worth 36.8 million that the association deemed unnecessary.
The county, the audit showed, further used Sh70 million on domestic travel and Sh10.5 million on per diems for activities such as report writing, annual retreat, and training of ward administrators.
NTA has now recommended that stringent measures be taken against counties that flout procurement rules or plunder public resources.