We were very frustrated by their (accounting officers) deliberate efforts to deny us information — Edward Ouko, Auditor General
|The refurbished Migori County Governors office. [PHOTO: TITUS MUNALA/STANDARD]|
By LILLIAN KIARIE
KENYA: Over Sh338 billion of the total government expenditure for 2011/2012 was unaccounted for even as the State struggles to raise fresh revenue through new measures like VAT.
Only 6 per cent of the Sh920 billion that the government spent (Sh55.2 billion) was fully accounted for, according to a new report released by the Auditor General Tuesday.
The damning report indicates that a further Sh561 billion lacked adequate supporting documents, highlighting the shocking loopholes that lead to the misuse of government funds.
Auditor-General Edward Ouko said about a third of the 252 financial statements of institutions he audited were either deliberately misstated or revealed fraudulent expenditure.
“We were very frustrated by their deliberate efforts to deny us information,” Mr Ouko said, referring to the accounting officers’ failure to provide documents to support their expenses.
Other expenditures were not authorised, he added.
The massive loss of government funds brings into focus a cash-strained government that is struggling to meet its most basic obligations including healthcare, food security and salaries for its workers. In the current year, for instance, the government widened the 16 per cent VAT net to cover a host of consumer products in a bid to raise additional revenue, which saw the price of basic commodities skyrocket.
Mr Ouko identified malpractices in government as absence of proof of payment, over-expenditure, unpaid bills and unaccounted for imprests by government employees.
Five government ministries spent Sh7 billion without parliamentary approval under recurrent expenditure. This is 20 times more compared to the figure recorded in the 2010/2011 financial year.
The Ministry of Education once again found itself under the spotlight of irregular spending after spending Sh5.5 billion on the free primary and secondary school programmes without parliamentary approval.
Plagued by scandals
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