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'Charge officers who hired ghost workers'

By Augustine Oduor | November 21st 2014

Kenya: The Cabinet has ordered investigations be done on civil servants who may have colluded with outsiders to siphon Government funds through payments to 12,000 ghost workers.

And Cabinet also agreed to increase the External Debt Ceiling from $14 billion (Sh1.2 trillion) to $28 billion (Sh2.5 trillion). It approved the forwarding of the proposal to Parliament for approval pursuant to Section 50 (2) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

Various State investigative agencies have been asked to unearth circumstances under which the 12,000 workers remained unaccounted for in the just concluded audit.

A Cabinet meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday instructed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Anti-Banking Fraud unit to probe the matter.

The agencies have been ordered to "move in and investigate officers in Government, and other institutions" suspected to have been party to the racket that used ministerial payrolls and fake names to squander public cash.

Illegal inclusion

A Human Resource Audit, under the Capacity Assessment and Rationalisation in the Public Service (Carps) report revealed that some staff could not be accounted for because they did not turn up for biometric registration.

Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said of the 172,522 employees, only 160,012 turned up for registration.

Speaking during the launch of the report, Public Service Commission Chairperson Margaret Kobia said investigations would be launched to ascertain those who were responsible for the illegal inclusion of names on the payroll.

She also said some names may have been recorded multiple times to cover up the mess.

President Kenyatta launched the biometric registration on September 1 after reports that the Government could be losing billions of shillings to non-existent workers. County governments also did the exercise, which was concluded on October 31.

It also approved the Public Audit Bill 2014, which is intended to enhance management of public funds.

"It further provides for responsible and clear fiscal reporting," a statement partly read.


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