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How weak NYS systems led to theft of billions

By Geoffrey Mosoku | May 15th 2018

Weak systems at the National Youth Service (NYS) provided an avenue for corrupt State officers to defraud the agency.

The state of affairs is revealed in a 2015 systems audit of NYS financial and procurement processes carried out by the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

According to the report, there is a big loophole for fraud after the Government pumped billions of shillings into the institution that must be spent within a year.

The EACC established that NYS did not have a clear procurement plan and had poor prioritisation of procurement needs.

“The EACC noted that there are instances the service receives funds to undertake programmes it had not planned for. For example, in 2013/2014 financial year, it received Sh7.6 billion for construction of 16 dams in one year. Due to pressure of time, some staff engaged in procurement of various items without following laid down procedures,” the September 2015 report states.

A review of the NYS draft procurement plan for 2013-2014 showed that some items were purchased at inflated prices.

For instance, 3,000 reams of photocopying papers were purchased at Sh1,200 each, 300 desktop computers at Sh103,000 each while 100 laptops were acquired at Sh105,000 each.

“This is an indication that the service does not carry out a market survey to inform pricing of items in the procurement plan. This is an irregularity which creates an opportunity for loss of public funds through procurement of goods and services at exorbitant prices,” the report done during the tenure of former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru (pictured) adds.

The survey revealed that NYS does not conduct due diligence on some of the firms awarded contracts as bidders use different but related firms.

For instance, two different firms that were awarded tenders to supply 10,000 berets and 8,000 jerseys at Sh3.9 million and Sh13.6 million respectively shared the same postal address, plot number, manufacturer’s authorisation and directors.

The auditors further noted there was a tendency to invite the same suppliers to quote for the supply of various items despite large numbers of prequalified suppliers for different categories.

Between 2013 and 2015, only three firms were invited to quote for the supply of spare parts yet there were 3,017 prequalified suppliers.

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