How county assemblies blew millions of taxpayers’ money

Auditor General Edward Ouko.
Auditor General Edward Ouko has released a damning report on how ward reps in six counties spent millions of tax payers’ shillings.

The 2017/2018 audit report revealed how ward representatives have been wasting tax-payers’ monies by holding committee meetings and report writing retreats outside county assemblies.

At the Nakuru County Assembly, the auditor questioned the spending of Sh13.8 million to train 78 ward reps in Tanzania for courses that are available locally at a lower cost.

Ward reps also spent Sh9.9 million on report writing and committee sittings which the auditor says would have been saved had the same been done in the assembly.  

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Another Sh10.2 million cash payment and per diem facilitation to members was not included in the annual procurement plan.

In Baringo County, 45 ward reps spent Sh13.8 million to hold various meetings outside the county assembly.

The assembly was also put in the spot for irregular issuance of imprests to members and staff amounting to Sh29.2 million during the period under review.

In Samburu, the county assembly could not account for more than Sh8 million used by members for local travel.

The County Assembly Speaker was paid Sh426,832 in imprests for travel and subsistence allowances to attend to the World Travel Market Conference in the UK between November 7 and 15, 2017. 

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But the assembly failed to explain why the speaker was paid imprest for eight days instead of three.

The auditor further questioned the payment of Sh2 million to ward office managers’ personal bank accounts for which no supporting documents were provided for review.

The ward expenses included monthly rent of Sh10,000 per ward. However, the rent was wired to the ward office manager’s bank accounts instead of the landlords.

The assembly leadership also failed to account for Sh138 million advanced to ward representatives as loans. The audit also questioned an expenditure of Sh11 million issued to ward reps as imprests.

In Bomet, Sh44.3 million was spent to train ward reps without a training needs assessment report or approval from the training committee as required by law. Sh2.1 million that was used to hire conference training facilities although there was no list of attendants.

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Irregular withdrawal

The audit further revealed that Sh163 million was irregularly withdrawn in the name of the county assembly.

In Kericho, the County Assembly spent Sh54,902,100 on 77 meetings away from the precincts of the assembly.

In Narok, Sh3 million was paid to a hotel for hosting a training for ward reps.

However, the ward reps did not attend some training sessions.

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The ward reps also pocketed Sh500,000 in out-of-pocket allowances although they had been booked on full board.  

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Auditor General Edward OukoTaxBudget