Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok was yesterday questioned by senators over Sh789 million "error" in the county financial books.
The governor who appeared before the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee to respond to audit queries, was hard-pressed to explain how the mistake escaped the attention of his financial officers.
Auditor General Edward Ouko in his 2017/2018 report flagged up arithmetical errors in the county’s exchequer releases, noting that there was an unexplained variance of Sh789 million in the account books.
“The statement of receipts and payments for the year ended June 30, 2018 reflects exchequer releases of Sh10,071,700,000 which is a variance with the summary statements of the appropriation computed figure of Sh9,281,966,717,” reads the report in part.
Mr Ouko’s report added: “This resulted in an unexplained or un-reconciled variance of Sh789,7333,283. In consequence the accuracy and the completeness of the exchequer release figure of Sh10,071,700,000 cannot be ascertained.”
Yesterday, Nanok defended himself from blame, explaining that the variance was as a result of arithmetical errors.
He explained that the matter has since been corrected and amends have been made.
“The actual exchequer release to the county in the year under review was Sh8.46 billion and not Sh10.07 billion. The arithmetical error has no material effect on the financial statements,” explained the former Council of Governors chairperson.
Mr Nanok’s admission that his officers erred while compiling the finance books caused a storm with the senators demanding to know if the county officials have the requisite capacity to serve in the sensitive department.
“What’s the competence of your officials in financial reporting. Do your officials have the required capacity?” posed Moses Kajwang’ who is also the chairperson of the committee.
Senators Ledama ole Kina (Narok) and his Nominated colleague Millicent Omanga wondered how a simple arithmetical errors that required a modest subtraction could escape the attention of qualified Certified Public Accountants.
“I think as a county your book-keeping is poor,” pointed out Mr Kina. Nanok admitted that his officers have had capacity challenges.