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Kenya Ports Authority overpays truant workers Sh227m

By Macharia Kamau | July 2nd 2021
KPA's Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN) [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Employees of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) might not be giving value to the company, with a new report indicating that they work shorter hours than the agreed time while being paid fully.

The Auditor-General says the authority overpaid employees by Sh227 million in the financial year to June 2019, which could amount to billions over the years. KPA has a time-based model of paying salaries.

A review of the hours worked by the Auditor General showed that employees would regularly report to work late and leave early for home or other non-work related errands.

Despite working few hours per day, KPA paid salaries as if the employees worked their full hours, according to the Auditor General’s report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

“Audit review of time management records revealed that basic salary was paid based on the hours worked as captured in the time management system,” reads the report by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu accompanying KPA’s financials.

“However, management approved a payment of Sh223.35 million for 390,379 hours not worked as staff left work before time and Sh3.34 million for 5,672 hours also not worked when staff came to work late.

“This resulted in an over-payment of salaries amounting to Sh226.68 million for hours not worked.”

KPA, which had 6,791 employees in the year under review, paid Sh7.21 billion as basic salary.

It made Sh55.45 billion in revenues and posted a net profit of Sh9.75 billion in the year to June 2019.

Ms Gathungu also said the authority has been undercharging logistics firms for the storage of empty containers at its facilities.

According to the audit report, while KPA could have easily made Sh125.65 million in revenues from the containers lying at the port, it was only able to collect Sh8.53 million.

“Records availed for audit review indicated that the authority billed a total of Sh8.53 million for storage of 5,660 empty containers,” the report said. 

“However, the calculated total revenue collectable or billable after the expiry of the free storage period amounted to Sh125.65 million, thus undercharging the storage revenue on empty containers by Sh117.12 million.”

The records further indicated that KPA released 54 empty containers with storage charges of Sh36.95 million before billing and securing of the revenue during the 2017-18 financial year.

“Instead, the storage was billed and captured in the 2018-19 financial year, thus overstating the revenue for the year under audit review by Sh36.95 million,” the Auditor General said.

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