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County illegally spent Sh256.7 million on emergency relief and refugee assistance: Audit Report

NEWS
By Isaiah Gwengi | Jan 3rd 2019 | 3 min read
By Isaiah Gwengi | January 3rd 2019
NEWS
A new look Siaya County Referral Hospital. [Photo: Olivia Odhiambo/Standard]

Auditor General Edward Ouko has questioned how Sh95 million set aside to buy relief maize was spent.

The maize was to be distributed to residents to reduce hunger.

Mr Ouko, in his audit report for the year ending June 30, 2017, questioned how the county procured maize from three suppliers through direct procurement as famine relief, yet they did not have an emergency fund in operation.

“The executive had correspondences from National Cereals and Produce Board on the availability of maize yet the direct procurement of maize worth Sh86.6 million was carried out in mid-June 2017 while the county had information on famine in March 2017,” said Ouko in his report.

Ouko has also questioned why the county invested Sh108 million in a new company for provision of a Wide Area Network connectivity and internet bandwidth instead of utilising the existing similar infrastructures in the county offered by other telecommunication service providers such as Safaricom and Telcom.

The national government is in the process of doing a similar project for the entire country, and according to the report, expenditure on a similar project by the county may amount to duplication of resources.

The report has also poked holes on the renovation and refurbishment of Siaya County Referral Hospital (SCRH) whose sum contract was agreed at Sh119.8 million. The reports says Sh51 million may have been lost.

Renovation of wards - doors, ceilings, asbestos roofs at the kitchen and amenity were not replaced, according to the report.

The whereabouts of Sh14 million meant for completion of a maternity wing at Bondo sub-county Hospital is also questioned in the report.

According to the Auditor General, hardboard double doors were fixed instead of hardwood panel doors. The roofs were leaking and locally made steel doors were also not of British standard as specified in the bill of quantity.

Even though the county government initiated the construction of county headquarter as its flagship project in 2013/2014 financial year, the proposed project has not fully been implemented.

The management was, however, not able to provide inspection and acceptance committee report for audit examination to justify payment of Sh21 million to a consultant.

Governor Cornel Rasanga’s government had budgeted to procure two fire engines at Sh113.6 million. This budget was funded but analysis of the IFMIS payment details revealed that an amount of Sh83.9 million was spent on the procurement of the fire engine.

“The management has not explained how the balance of Sh29.6 million which had been disbursed out of Sh113.6 million was utilised,” said the report.

The management could not also explain how imprest issued and surrendered amounting to Sh11.5 million was not adequately supported with relevant supporting documents.

About 27 officers were said to be holding imprest of over Sh500, 000 each, all totaling to Sh62.6 million which had not been accounted for as at 30 June, 2017.

The propriety of the expenditure of Sh20 million paid to an advocate as legal fees could not be confirmed. Also in the report, the legality of the expenditure of Sh8.7 million on payment for insurance providers.

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