Edward Ouko wants MPs to refund Sh5m illegal pay

Auditor General Edward Ouko. He wants MPs to refund allowances advanced to them for attending a conference in Kisumu. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]
Some lawmakers could be forced to refund a Sh5 million allowance advanced to them by a commission during a conference held in Kisumu.

This is after Auditor General Edward Ouko declared the payment illegal thus should be recovered from them.

In his latest report for 2017/18 financial year, Ouko has revealed that Privatization Commission paid some MPs subsistence allowance against a circular by the Office of the President.

MPs allowances are supposed to be catered for by Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) and not state departments or agencies.

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The irregular payments have also put the commission’s top leadership on the spot as the report wants them to be held responsible.

“During the year under review, the commission paid some MPs Sh5,024,500 while attending a stakeholders’ consultative conference organised by the commission in Kisumu in January 2018,” reads the report tabled in the National Assembly.

“The payment of allowances to MPs is contrary to the Office of the President Circular of November 13, 2015 which clearly states that daily subsistence allowance and other allowances payable to MPs in instances where MPs are invited or involved by Ministry/Departments/Agencies will be fully catered for by Parliament,” it adds.

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The commission had told the Auditor General that the payment was done following a consultation with the Clerk of the National Assembly.

But Ouko maintained that the payment by the commission was in breach of the circular, which provides, inter alia, “the Accounting Officers and Chief Executive Officers of State Corporations should be held accountable in the event this requirement is violated”.

It is not the first time Ouko is directing for recovery of monies illegally paid to MPs.

Early this year, Ouko asked Sports Ministry to recover Sh2.5 million it paid for two MPs to watch FIFA World Cup in Russia last year.

Ouko had said the money was irregularly wired to the lawmakers since their expenses were supposed to be catered for by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).

At the same time, Commission on Revenue Allocation is on the spot for irregular payment of airtime allowances to the commissioners and employees.

An audit report indicates that the commission made payments of Sh2,784,000 and Sh3,166,865 as telephone allowances to commissioners and employees.

The payments resulted into an overpayment of Sh1,232,000 and Sh154,000, totaling Sh1,386,000.

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Parliamentary Service CommissionEdward OukoMPs allowances