Auditor-General Edward Ouko has released damning revelations involving financial irregularities at the State Department of Public Service and Youth, running into billions of questionable expenditures at a time the government is struggling to eliminate rampant corruption in the public service.
They include unauthorised, unreported and unaccounted for borrowing, irregular award of consultancy services, supply and delivery of expired chemicals at the scandal-ridden National Youth Service (NYS), stocking expired white spirit and paying non-existing companies to supply items.
Mr Ouko’s report for the year ending June 30, 2018, notes that field inspection carried out in January this year showed that materials worth over Sh506 million remain unused two years after they were procured.
The materials have been dumped at Ruaraka NYS headquarters yard in Nairobi. “No explanation has been provided for failure to utilise the materials,” Mr Ouko says in the report currently before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly.
Further, he notes that the State department borrowed Sh1.114 billion from the Mechanical and Transport fund through internal memos of October and December 2017.
The memos were in the name of then-NYS director-general the Public Service and Youth PS at the time, who approved the request on December 2017.
The amounts were borrowed in two batches of Sh478.9 million and Sh635.899 during the year under review.
Although the first batch has been refunded, the second, purportedly borrowed to settle outstanding tuition fees and accommodation claims from various Technical and Vocational Training Institutions (Tvets) has not been reported in the books of accounts.
The docket has also not disclosed receipts and corresponding expenditures and neither has the outstanding amount been disclosed as a liability.
The expenditure on food rations worth Sh150.072 million cannot also be confirmed.
LOSS OF FUNDS
Although records at Gilgil College showed stock inward entries of the food rations that were received from the headquarters, corresponding dispatch records at the headquarters have not captured this movement.
This means it could not be confirmed how the items were procured, received at NYS headquarters and dispatched to Gilgil station.
As if this was not enough, the department spent Sh13.85 million on expired chemicals at the NYS.
The report reveals that between June and August 2017, the State department procured and received 1,750 litres of expired Actelic, manufactured in September 2014 with a shelf life of two years.
“No explanation has been provided for this anomaly leading to loss of public funds and contravening Article 232 (1) (b) of the Constitution on economical, effective and efficient utilisation of public resources,” Mr Ouko says.
The audit also reveals that the State department engaged three consultants for three years to provide legal, ICT and internal audit services at Sh19.40 million, Sh27.32 million and Sh19.40 million respectively.
This is notwithstanding that the department had an internal audit, ICT and legal departments as well as advice provided by the Attorney-General’s office.
“The contacts were clearly duplication of existing roles by the State Department that had existing employees undertaking the same duties,” the report says.
Interestingly, no evidence of milestones and any outputs achieved from the consultancies were presented to the auditors for verification, effectively casting doubts on value for money received from the entities.
Expired stocks of 357 five- litre tins of white spirit worth Sh649,740 also discovered at the NYS stores.
The items, manufactured in 2015 with an expiry date of 2018, were received at the facility from a supplier on June 26, 2017, and were still there as at January this year.
Why the chemicals were not utilised within the stipulated time has not been explained by the State Department.
An non-existing firm was also identified, contracted and paid Sh500,000 for the supply of 5000kgs of Watermelon at the Gilgil NYS college.