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Accounts committee cites financial wastage as MCAs agree to refund salary

By Phares Mutembei | July 12th 2019

The local assembly has been cited for wastefulness in various expenditure, including induction courses.

Presenting an audit report after scrutinising the assembly’s financial statements for the year ended June 2018, Public Accounts and Investment Committee chair Kimathi Ithibua said the assembly flouted sections of Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

When he read the report to the Ward reps, Mr Ithibua cited the use of Sh23.5m on two duplicate induction courses for the reps and clerk assistants in Nairobi and Mombasa.

In the session chaired by temporary speaker Joy Karambu, the reps heard that the assembly’s accounting officer justified the two trainings as "important as MCAs learnt their mandate."

In another item titled "wasteful training expenditure" Ithibua said Sh1, 009, 684 was paid to two MCAs as per diems and travel expenses to attend Strategic Communication Skill learning for women leaders in United Arab Emirates.

 "Even as the courses were readily available in Kenyan universities," he tabled.

In a rare twist the report recommends that the assembly’s accounting officer initiates a process of recovering Sh4.2 million from MCAs in salary overpayments.

The overpay arose from a conservatory order of January, 2018 to stay the execution of Gazette Notice 6518 which abolished sitting allowance for plenary sessions, reduced rates for committee sitting allowances and increased the basic salary of MCAs.

The County Assembly Service Board through a resolution reinstated payment of sitting allowances for plenary sessions, increased rates for sitting allowances and reduced the basic salary for the MCAs.

Records made available revealed that plenary session sitting allowance of Sh3, 900 for MCAs, chairman allowances of Sh6, 500 and siting allowance of Sh3, 900 were effected in January, 2018.

However, the reduction in salary from Sh144, 375 to Sh123, 750 was not effected in January 2018, which resulted in the Sh4.2 million variance.

Ithibua said the accounting officer should put in place mechanisms to start the overpayments recovery from the reps within three months after the adoption of the PAC report (June 10, 2019).

“Let us comply with the law and have the recovery of salary overpayments,” Ithibua said.

The motion was unanimously adopted as Naathu Ward rep Samuel Mutuura said the county executive and its departments should "emulate the precedent set."

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