Ouko pokes holes in county's financial report

Auditor-General Edward Ouko (right) has put the county government on the spot over how it spent and managed funds in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Mr Ouko has queried how much employees were paid as wages, pending bills owed to suppliers and the issue of foreign travel.

The Auditor-General said a budget statement indicated that the county had set aside Sh3.2 billion to pay salaries, yet statements of receipts and payments showed that Sh2.5 billion was paid.

This, Ouko said, resulted in an unexplained and unreconciled difference of Sh649 million.

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The Auditor-General also noted that the accuracy and completeness of pending bills totalling Sh1.4 billion could not be confirmed.

Sh1.3 billion was owed to external creditors while Sh112 million was owed to county employees. Ouko said the financial statements for the year under review revealed that travel and subsistence costs amounted to Sh1 billion.

The figure, he said, excluded Sh1.4 million incurred by members of the county assembly and five officers who travelled to Pretoria, South Africa, on January 25, 2017, and Sh608,020 paid to two officers for foreign travel to India on September 9, 2016.

“The amount was charged to the domestic travel and subsistence account instead of foreign travel. Further, payments were not supported by boarding passes, reports of the meetings and evidence of travel,” he said.

Ouko also flagged the under-collection of revenue by the county government, which he said targeted to raise Sh880 million from local sources based on the budget approved by the assembly.

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He said the actual amount generated was Sh535 million, as reported in the financial statements, which accounted for 60 per cent of the local revenue target and resulted in a revenue shortfall of Sh344 million.

"The decline in revenue collection has not been explained," said Ouko.

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Auditor-General Edward Ouko2016/2017 financial yearMurang'a County