The Auditor-General has unearthed irregularities in the procurement of shoes for the police, with purchases beyond the approved amount and falsification of some documents.
The Interior Department might have lost Sh175.9 million while police officers had to buy shoes for themselves or were stuck with old ones in a situation described by the Auditor-General as “pathetic and unpleasant”.
There were also similar problems in the procurement of motorcycles, with the auditor raising concern over purchases based on expired contracts and overpricing, resulting in a loss of Sh174.6 million.
The Auditor-General’s report will be scrutinised by the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, with the accounting officer expected to respond to the queries relating to the 2015/2016 financial year.
According to the report, tabled in the House on Wednesday, the irregularities in the purchase of shoes were evident right from the stage of procurement of the footwear for the police.
While the ministry’s procurement plan showed that there was an approval to buy 26,500 pairs of shoes, payment vouchers showed that a supplier was paid Sh267.9 million for 78,000 pairs.
This means that 51,500 pairs of shoes were bought and Sh175.9 million paid in excess of the approved quantities.
The Auditor-General said when the department’s officials were asked about it, they stated that the purchase of the extra shoes was necessitated by the addition of 10,000 police trainees.
But auditors found that 4,000 trainees were at the Kenya Police Training College in Kiganjo and 2,000 at the General Service Unit.
Shoes for the additional 4,000 trainees at the Administration Police Training College were paid for separately.
Auditors discovered that records for the stores had been forged as one document had different information in April 2016 and May 2017.
When the auditors checked the situation on the ground, using 12 police divisions as a sample, records showed that they ordered 454 pairs of shoes and got 63 pairs while the records in Nairobi showed that 392 pairs were issued.
The Auditor-General concluded that the records in Nairobi were falsified.
While 57 field units had asked for 12,852 pairs of shoes, they were only given 3,763 pairs, meaning there was a shortfall of 9,089 pairs.
“A physical check of the condition of shoes being used by the police across the country revealed a pathetic and unpleasant situation as some officers use worn-out shoes while others have opted to buy shoes from various vendors, contrary to dress regulations for police officers,” says the Auditor-General.
He reported that the purchase of motorcycles at a cost Sh866.2 million was not in the ministry’s procurement plan.
The 4,420 motorcycles were then bought based on an expired contract and were overpriced, auditors discovered.
The first 2,420 Chinese-assembled motorcycles were bought at Sh210,000 each while the lowest bidder had offered them at Sh161,733.
There was, thus, a loss of Sh116.8 million from the overpricing. Another 2,000 motorcycles were bought at Sh179,000 each against an offer of Sh150,000 by the lowest bidder, resulting in a loss of Sh58 million. This brought the total loss to Sh174.8 million.