NAIROBI, KENYA: Auditor General Edward Ouko has passed a harsh verdict on Mombasa County Assembly saying the Sh548million it was allocated in the 2017-2018 financial year was not spent lawfully.
Dr. Ouko says in a report published on February 18 that the county under-utilized it’s recurrent and development budgets by 22.8 percent and 4.3 percent respectively thereby affecting services delivery.
He said the under-utilization of the budget by the assembly affected service delivery to the residents of Mombasa.
In the 2017/2018, budget the assembly allocated Sh44.3 million for the development budget and Sh476.9 for the recurrent budget, according to the report.
“In the overall, the county assembly underspent to a tune of Sh143 million or 21.5 percent of the total budget allocation…this may also be an indication of improper planning and the management may need to re-think on its budget-making process ..,” states the report.
In an adverse opinion, the report revealed that the assembly deposited Sh20 million in Chase Bank, which can neither be accounted for nor traced.
It also reports that the assembly could not prove the validity of the Sh109.5 million pending bills. At the same time, Ouko also states that the assembly could not also confirm how it spent Sh3.8 billion captured in its financial statement.
“I can confirm that public resources have not been applied lawfully and in an effective way,” Dr Ouko states in the audit report for the year ending June 30, 2018.
The assembly was allocated Sh548 million, Sh225M directly from the exchequer, and Sh299m from the county government of Mombasa and Sh23m balance from the last financial year.
The report states that in the financial statement of the year ended June 30, 2018, the National Treasury released Sh525.4 million but the audit review of the bank statements for the assembly revealed that it only received about Sh225.7million.
Dr. Ouko said this resulted in a variance of about 299.8 million, which was paid directly by the county executive to pay staff salaries.
“In the circumstances, the accuracy and completeness of the transfers of Sh299.8 million during the year and the financial independence of the county assembly in the performance of its oversight role to the executive could not be confirmed,” states the report.
The audit report suggests that the assembly lacks the capacity to absorb monies which are then returned to the treasury when the funds could have been allocated to other departments for better use.
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