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Auditor General: Poor handover of projects ups waste in counties

By Graham Kajilwa - May 19th 2022

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu speaks during a media stakeholders breakfast on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. [Samson Wire. Standard].

The Office of the Auditor General has raised concern over the unstructured way new regimes take over public offices - exposing taxpayers to losses in unfinished projects.

Auditor General Ms Nancy Gathungu also pointed out the challenge of having an accurate asset register for counties.

This challenge, she said, is complicated by the way county chiefs hand over or take over the office.

Ms Gathungu said local governments are still grappling with the management of assets and lack of ownership documentation. “This is very critical when we are in transition,” she said.

“We all saw what happened in 2013/14, especially at the devolved level when we moved from 175 defunct local authorities to 47 counties. We are still trying to unravel the issue on assets,” she added.

Ms Gathungu said the same scenario played out in 2017. “Again in 2017, handing over and taking over was not properly done. We are still looking at the assets the government owns both at the national and devolved level,” she said.

The Auditor-General said this issue must be sorted out decisively as the country prepares for another transition after the August 9 polls. “And I am looking at the National Treasury to give guidance on this area,” said Ms Gathungu.

The majority of county chiefs will also be leaving office this August after serving their two terms limit in office.

Poor handover after the change of regimes, said Ms Gathungu, has also resulted in the abandonment of projects with new officeholders preferring to start their own (projects).

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