More details are emerging on the blatant disregard to laid down procurement and staffing regulations as well as power play at the National Youth Service (NYS) which is under investigation for the loss of Sh791 million.
The NYS, a pet project of the Jubilee government once touted as part of the solution to runaway youth unemployment in the country, is now at risk of being regarded as a cash cow for the corrupt. Documents in our possession reveal staffing irregularities, disregard for procurement processes, sabotage and conspiracy to mislead bosses among other malpractices.
The documents indicate that some key positions are held by officers who work for other ministries, some even unrelated to the co-mandate of NYS, but report to the service on a daily basis. The officials have offices, official cars and even sign letters committing the institution to various forms of expenditure.
These irregularities happen with full knowledge of accounting officers within the ministry and NYS and the cartels disregard even directives from the Devolution Cabinet Secretary.
Recently, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru wrote two letters directing NYS management to ensure that anyone who has been transferred vacates the service and reports to their new stations. That directive was disregarded. Some of the officers have been listed to transfer on more than one occasion but have not moved to their new work stations.
Last Monday, officers said to belong to the Devolution Ministry and NYS were at a hotel in Naru Moru where a four-day seminar was said to be going on. An invoice amounting to over Sh4 million was later sent to NYS for payment yet the finance and procurement departments were not aware of the forum according to documents we have seen.
Contacted for a comment on this invoice, one of the finance officers would not comment except to say, “That is a strange invoice.”
Other recent events that have raised a storm in NYS was the appointment of officers who had been transferred in a move largely seen to have been orchestrated to influence the composition of the tendering committee.
Yesterday, the Planning Permanent Secretary, Eng Peter Mangiti, and NYS Director General Nelson Githinji did not respond to our queries for clarification on issues raised in official documents. The documents indicate that on September 1, the NYS Director General sent an internal memo to the PS requesting for the transfer of at least 93 officers then based at the service.
This move followed public outcry over the loss of Sh791 million through dubious tendering procedures.
“There is a reason to believe that the internal control structures within these departments are porous and may have provided an enabling environment for fraudulent activities...the purpose of this communication therefore is to request your good office to facilitate the transfer of all staff in the accounts, procurement and internal audit departments back to their parent ministry and their replacement with suitably qualified officers to facilitate effective and efficient delivery of our mandate,” reads part of the internal memo from Githinji to the PS.
A list of the 93 officers set for transfer was attached to the memo.
On September 4, Eng Mangiti approved the transfers. Consequently, on September 7, Mr Githinji issued transfer release letters to the officers.
Interestingly, however, some of the officers are still in the office even executing instructions from the DG who has also proposed them for appointment to the tender committees.
The NYS boss in a memo dated September 18 addressed to the PS proposed 14 names for consideration for appointment to the tender opening committee and tender processing committees. Githinji’s memo reads in part, “This is therefore to request you to consider the above officers to respective committees.”
Whereas all earlier communications would routinely be copied to the CS, none of the recent communications we have seen between the DG and the PS was copied to her.
On September 25 another internal memo left the NYS procurement desk addressed to the DG, requesting to redistribute food rations to different colleges. The signatory does not officially work for NYS but transacts official business for the NYS.
The memo was signed off by H N Pilisi, another NYS employee whose name also appeared in the list of those transfered from the college.
Efforts to secure an interview with Waiguru were also futile as she was away on official duty.