Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma was put to task over a Sh13 million bank loan his administration borrowed to facilitate foreign trips by MCAs.
The governor, while appearing before the Senate Public Accounts Committee yesterday, defended himself, saying due process was followed in arriving at the decision to borrow the money to facilitate the county reps' trip to Uganda, Europe and Nairobi on diverse dates.
Auditor General Edward Ouko in his 2013/2014 audit report had questioned how Sh13,032,474 that was borrowed was put into use, noting that authority from the National Treasury or County Assembly authorising the acquisition of the bank loan was not brought for audit verification.
"The county executive member in charge of Finance then, received an approval from the County Assembly to get the loan. The cashier withdrew the money and paid per diems to the individuals who travelled, as per the law," explained the governor. The Auditor in his report further faulted the county government for not furnishing him with an imprest warrant, thus there was no explanation for the expenditure, adding that procurement procedures ought to have been followed to get the money and spend it.
"To say the imprest was not explained is incorrect, because the cashier who withdrew the money had a list of MCA's who traveled and the per diems they each received, which was duly signed," Ranguma told members of the Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o-led committee.
"The list of those who travelled is there and they even signed after receiving their per diems which was the amount determined by the Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC). To say a procurement process was not followed is outrageous," he added.
Nyong'o, however, insisted that the list of those who travelled and the amount of money they each were paid was not sufficient, pointing out that travel documents must be attached alongside the imprests.
"All you need is a passport to show that you traveled, which must be surrendered alongside imprests," said Nyong'o, who directed the Governor to bring the documents before the committee by end of today.
Ranguma was further asked to furnish the committee with Hansard records authorising the getting of the bank loan, after he blamed on a fomer Finance Chief Executive Officer whose tenure was terminated for misplacing some of the documents. "The County Assembly has an Hansard, records can be found easily," said Kakamega Senator Bonni Khalwale.