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Treasury secretly diverting money from ministries, says Ombudsman

By Otiato Guguyu | Published Fri, October 14th 2016 at 00:00, Updated October 13th 2016 at 23:18 GMT +3
Commission of Administrative Justice chairman Otiende Amollo. (Photo: File/Standard)

The Ombudsman has accused the Government of secretly plotting to divert money from ministries and State departments for unknown purposes.

Commission of Administrative Justice chairman Otiende Amollo, in a letter to Treasury CS Henry Rotich, says the Government has already hived off some money in the first quarter of this financial year whose whereabouts remain unknown.

In the letter, Mr Amollo says the Treasury hatched a conspiracy against the budget passed by Parliament by sending ministries a circular ordering them to cut spending.

The cuts were immediately effected, denying some state organs crucial funds to carry out their functions while diverting money from the strict Government spending protocols which will make it difficult for Parliament to provide oversight.

Withdraw circular

“It is not clear to whom the withheld funds will be allocated, the purpose and accountability thereof. Oversight by Parliament on expenditure only relates to funds set aside for use by a particular government or ministry. The problem is that it may not be possible for Parliament to oversight the use of these funds,” Amollo said.

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The Ombudsman wants treasury to withdraw the circular, give the ministries, State departments and agencies the money withheld and publish the amounts withheld including their beneficiaries.

Mr Amollo says the circular No.13 of 2016 was issued on July 12, just 11 days after the beginning of the financial year, even before the budget was uploaded on the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

The Treasury then unilaterally started the implementation of the circular by withholding part of allocations to Government ministries and departments.

The ombudsman said he suspected the move was a pre-determined action orchestrated by Treasury, even as it presented the budget to Parliament for approval.

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