alexa MPs summon State House comptroller after skipping hearing on audit queries - Daily Nation

MPs summon State House comptroller after skipping hearing on audit queries

Tuesday February 19 2019

Kinuthia Mbugua

State House Comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID MWERE
By DAVID MWERE
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MPs have summoned State House Comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua for failing to appear before them to answer audit queries raised by the Auditor-General over expenditures at the Presidency.

Mr Mbugua, the State House Accounting Officer, was expected to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly Tuesday to explain the irregular expenditures for the 2015/16 financial year.

ENGAGED

But he sent an apology and requested for a reschedule because he was attending to a pressing matter at State House.

“Due to my involvement in some State House engagements falling on the same period, I will be constrained in honouring the committee’s sitting today. Reschedule my appearance to a later date,” Mr Mbugua said.

However, committee chairman Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) faulted Mr Mbugua’s behaviour saying that the committee’s responsibility supersede the day- to- day engagements of accounting officers.

“All accounting officers must appear before PAC when invited. Being engaged in one’s usual work activities cannot be a valid reason to skip a PAC meeting. He is now required to appear within three weeks without fail,” Mr Wandayi said.

Mr Mbugua is wanted to answer queries over Sh2.7 billion confidential expenditure at the presidency from 2013 to 2016.

In his audit report, Mr Ouko says that although the Presidency has provided certificates to support the expenditures, unsatisfactory matters regarding the confidential expenditure have not been resolved.

BILLS

Among the issues flagged by Mr Ouko include weakness in controls, suspicious payments for motor vehicles, payment for undelivered items and pending bills among others.

The report revealed that payment vouchers are not supported with necessary documents that can be subjected to audit tests to enable the auditor general confirm that the expenditure was incurred for intended purpose.

About Sh165.6 million paid for supply of motor vehicles was not posted in the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) as required by the Public Finance Management Act an indication that the amount could have been unexplained cash withdrawals.

There is also the Sh105 million that was withdrawn from the suspense account without verifiable source documents that indicate the approved allocation as required.

“It was not possible to confirm that the confidential expenditure incurred on motor vehicles and other payments was lawful and that value for money was obtained,” Mr Ouko said in the report.

There is also the procurement of Sh22.3 million on goods for various State Houses and lodges, which cannot be confirmed.

A verification undertaken in January and February 2017 revealed that these goods were never received and there were no documents in record maintained in the field to support receipt.

Though Sh271 million was recorded as pending bills as at 30 June 2016, bills amounting to Sh61.5 million were not supported by invoices, delivery notes, contract documents and Local Purchase Orders (LPOs).

This means that their validity, legality, and accuracy could not be confirmed.