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Audit to reveal how Treasury system allowed loss of NYS’ Sh800m

By Dominic Omondi | February 4th 2016

Kenyans will soon find out how the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) allowed the loss of Sh800 million in public funds.

This is after the Treasury said that it had commissioned an audit into the system to understanding its operations and make improvements.

IFMIS is an automated system created in 2015 to enhance efficiency in planning, budgeting, procurement, expenditure management and reporting in national and county governments.

However, its credibility came into question last year when it was reported that some people interfered with it and embezzled money meant for the National Youth Service (NYS).

Treasury hopes that such hitches will be a thing of the past once the audit, which is being undertaken by the Auditor General, is completed.

“The Auditor General is almost finished with the report, and we will look at it and take on board its recommendations,” Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge said.

While the system has helped boost accountability in financial management, the recent NYS saga has raised concerns about its susceptibility to cyber attacks.

Dr Thugge said there are areas that have been earmarked for improvement to make fraudulent transactions near impossible and ease use of the system.

“We are also looking at risk management on the system, and here we are looking at possibly having triggers in place so that fraud can be detected before any funds are lost. This will be in addition to the audit trails already in place.”

He added that IFMIS is now playing a critical role in fighting corruption.

“So far the system is doing well. It has successfully assisted investigating authorities by giving them audit trails they can follow and bring a case to conclusion,” Thugge said.

New modules may also be added to IFMIS, including debt and pension management, to enhance the management of public finances.

Jerome Ochieng, the director of IFMIS, said the Treasury has been exploring ways to enable the system handle emerging challenges.

“Cyber crime has become a major challenge, and we have always moved with speed to ensure that when such challenges emerge, mitigation measures are in place,” he said.

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