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Lobby raps executive on massive public looting, resource wastage

NEWS
By Dominic Omondi | August 8th 2015
Coordinator of the National Taxpayers Association (NTA), Martin Napisa

An accountability lobby has decried wanton plunder of public resources. National Taxpayers Association (NTA) coordinator Martin Napisa expressed concern that misuse of taxpayers’ money as revealed in the Auditor General’s report is a damning indictment on an executive that rose to power on the promise of cutting back corruption.

“The recent Auditor General’s report paints a grim picture for Kenya – a country at the mercy of racketeers and rent-seekers on the prowl even as the executive turns a blind eye to the rot in our midst,” Mr Napisa said.

“The rampant looting is a threat to many projects underway, a danger to national peace and by necessity, it is a risk to the wider economy,” he said, adding what is more unsettling is laxity of the executive to deal with corruption decisively.

In a press statement, Mr Napisa said the recent findings by the Auditor General are disturbing and show a failure in public financial management systems. He urged Kenyans to be on the lookout for “kings of sleaze plot to interfere with the powers of the office of the Auditor General through the proposed presidential amendment to the Public Audit Bill 2014”.

“The report has disturbing details on the use of public funds, which demonstrates increasing failure of public financial management systems, and apathy towards compliance with government financial regulations,” Mr Napisa.

The Auditor General, Mr Edward Ouko, late last month tabled in Parliament an audit report of national government finances indicating that ministries and accounting officers could not account for up to Sh67 billion.

Oversight role

In the report, Mr Ouko highlighted several irregularities including the propriety of expenses that cannot be ascertained, poor records management by the counties, irregular procurement procedures and poor vote books maintenance.

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Mr Napisa called on the executive to strengthen the management of public financial management systems using robust ICT infrastructure so that public procurement is transparent and accessible to the public for ease of monitoring.

He also challenged legislators to strengthen the capacity of the Auditor General’s office to enhance the audit process. “The Auditor General’s office Financial, Human resource and technical functions should remain independent,” he said.

On devolved corruption, Mr Napisa called on all counties to adopt IFMIS system to enhance accountability and transparency on the use of funds at the county level.

“Just like the Senate, which must play oversight role on devolved funds, Members of the County Assembly should also desist from direct project implementation and instead play their oversight role,” he said.

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