Audit shows counties failed to spend Sh4.2b
MONEY & CAREERS
By Stephen Rutto | March 4th 2021
The Auditor-General has put two North Rift counties on the spot over failure to spend Sh4.2 billion in the 2018-2019 financial year.
Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia counties could not spend Sh3.2 billion and Sh1.06 billion respectively during the period under review.
During the period, the Auditor General noted, the Jackson Mandago administration under-absorbed the money, which was part of its Sh10 billion approved budget.
In the neighbouring Trans Nzoia, the report said out of an approved budget of Sh8 billion, the county spent Sh6.9 billion resulting in under-absorption of Sh1.06 billion.
“Recurrent and development combined reflects approved budget expenditure totalling over Sh8b against actual expenditure totalling over Sh6.9b resulting to under-absorption of Sh1,061,825,385,” the report said.
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, in her latest report also questioned the whereabouts of Sh30.6 million local revenue collected from Trans Nzoia’s health facilities, noting that the money was not banked in the county’s County Revenue Fund.
The Sh30 million was part of Sh156.6 million collected from county hospitals.
“Examination of revenue records indicated that actual transfers to the County Revenue Fund from health facilities during the year totalled Sh125,996,839, resulting in under-banking of Sh30,616,006,” the Auditor General reported.
In Uasin Gishu, the unspent money was 26 per cent of the total budget, according to the audit report.
“The under-absorption of the budget and failure to spend 26 per cent of the revenue collected during the year meant some projects and activities planned for execution were not implemented," the auditor general reported.
Gathungu also noted failure by Uasin Gishu County Executive to explain reasons for stalling of a number of projects. She said Uasin Gishu residents may not have received services due to the under-absorption of government funds.
The auditor found that the county received Sh933.5 million as donor funds, including Sh114 million from the Danish Development Agency, the EU and the Kenya Devolution Support Programme, but the money was not included in the budget.
The county reported the equitable share of Sh949.5 million and donor funds of Sh3.5 million amounting to Sh1.09 billion. The auditor, however, indicated that the county received the Sh1.09 billion in July 2019, days after the end of the financial year under review.
She further said the delayed remittance of budgeted funds violated the law and delayed implementation of projects and activities. Fifty four projects valued at Sh1.4 billion were evaluated and Sh681.9 million had been spent.
The audit report said 39 of the projects contracted at Sh460.6 million were complete, while six valued at Sh22.6 million were ongoing. However, nine projects valued at Sh372.2 million had stalled while Sh79.5 million had been paid to contractors during the period.
“With the projects stalled, no value has been received on funds totalling Sh79.5 million invested therein,” says the report.
The county used Sh3 billion, or 38 per cent of its budget, on compensation of employees, thus exceeding the ratio of 35 per cent required by the law. County Executive for finance Julius Ruto said part of the unspent money was received days after June 30, which is the end of the financial year.
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