Sixty-nine State corporations with multi-billion shilling budgets do not have boards of directors, exposing management problems.
Of these, 30 are without substantive chief executive officers, as it is the boards that are mandated to recruit top managers.
The findings are in a report tabled before a watchdog committee of Parliament that laid bare the wanting status of State corporations.
Some are said to be operating without fully constituted boards and top managers, which is affecting their performance.
The National Assembly’s Public Investment Committee (PIC) was shocked to learn that despite pumping billions of shillings into the parastatals, the Jubilee government had not fully constituted boards for 69 out of the total 180 corporations.
And as a result, the report from the Directorate of State Corporations states that 30 of these parastatals, representing 17 per cent, are operating without substantive CEOs.
Although the report did not name all the companies in this state, it lists the National Social Security Fund, which holds in the excess of Sh200 billion in workers' savings, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Ports Authority among those whose boards and management teams are not fully constituted.
“It is such a risky affair that the appointing authority, in this case the President, whose duty it is to appoint board chairpersons, has left this window open. It means that parastatals are easily making decisions involving huge sums of money without the relevant approvals,” complained PIC chairman and Mvita MP Abduswamad Nassir.
“The President needs to act fast if we sincerely want to save taxpayers' money from possible abuse and want to ensure that Kenyans get value for money for the investments made by these parastatals, otherwise the situation as it is now is very wanting,” he added.
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Mr Nassir expressed fears that top management teams in the parastatals operating without substantive board chairmen or CEOs could be engaging in illegalities, which could end up not being corrected in good time and result in loss of funds.
He cited the NHIF, which he said was critical in rolling out universal healthcare under President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four agenda but which could either stall or be implemented without board approval as the parastatal does not have a substantive chairman.