Governor Kihika put to task over expenditures, poor control systems

Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Senate has put the Nakuru County administration to task over the use of various funds running into millions of shillings. 

The County Public Investment and Special Funds Committee has questioned expenditure on the Emergency Fund, Bursary Fund, and Car Loan and Mortgage Fund for financial years 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22.

When Governor Susan Kihika appeared before the committee on Friday, the chairman Godfrey Osotsi (Vihiga) said there were glaring inaccuracies with unsupported expenses.

“This committee is concerned over Nakuru County Government's decision to make irregular payments to savings and credit cooperative societies, private companies and failing to put in place internal control systems and policies that guide the internal operations of the three Funds,” said Osotsi. 

The Auditor General said there was an expenditure of Sh16.9 million in respect of reversed beneficiary payments (cancelled cheques) that have not been supported by way of student lists or vetting reports.  

The report says expenditure of Sh17.6 million could not be ascertained.

But Kihika explained that the cancelled cheques and reversed in the cashbook were done after the government suspended learning. However, her explanation did not go down well with the Senators.

“The auditor is saying that there were no supporting documents, why did you not provide the list of students who are beneficiaries, it appears like you have capacity issues in the accounts department of your administration, you should just admit that,” said Tabitha Mutinda (Nominated).

The AG further stated that the county government does not have a risk management policy, contrary to law. 

The audit report for the year ending June 30, 2021, also shows the statement of comparison of budget and actual amounts reflect a final income budget balance of Sh122.4 million against actual receipts of Sh76.4 million for the year ended 30 June 2021.  

But Kihika told the Senators that Sh45.9 million were underfunded because of the Covid-19 pandemic while the audit carried out shows that the statement of financial performance reflects transfers from the county amounting to Sh70 million, which differs from the supporting schedule amount of Sh85million, resulting in unreconciled Sh15 million. 

The committee gave the county government 60 days to put in place internal control systems.