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COB wants high travel spending audited

KENYA
By Patrick Kibet | October 13th 2015
Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo

The Controller of Budget has recommended an audit into high expenditure on domestic and foreign travel, which exceeded annual allocation in 14 counties in the 2014/2015 annual budget implementation report.

Counties of Baringo, Bomet, Embu, Homa Bay, Kericho, Kisii, Machakos, Murang’a, Nakuru, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Vihiga, Wajir and West Pokot exceeded their annual allocation for domestic and foreign travel, according to the annual report.

In the 2013-2014 financial year, only four counties had exceeded their annual allocation for domestic and foreign travel.

The report shows that expenditure on domestic and travel increased from Sh7.7 billion to Sh9.15 billion in 2014-15 financial year. The Auditor General in his audit into county assemblies spending in 2013-14 financial year revealed widespread misuse and lack of proper accountability of public funds allocated for foreign travel.

The audit, which scrutinised the first year of devolution showed that 27 assemblies made over 90 foreign trips abroad spending Sh539 million.

The report shows that the 14 counties exceeded their budget allocation by Sh578 million on domestic and foreign travel, which the Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo wants audited to establish its validity.

The Controller of Budget annual report released last week showed Nakuru County Executive spent Sh141.03 million in domestic and foreign travel while it had budgeted for Sh41 million in the 2014-15 financial year.

Baringo County spent Sh183.2 million expenditure on domestic and foreign travel compared to Sh95.7 million in 2013-14 financial year.

The county spent Sh301 million on rehabilitation of the roads, Sh214 million on water supply, Sh189 million on construction of ECD centers and polytechnics among other development projects.

The Nakuru assembly also exceeded its allocation for domestic and foreign travel after it spent Sh127 million against the budget of  Sh123 million.

The report shows that whereas the total expenditure on domestic and foreign travel stood at Sh268 million, the county spent Sh179 million on drugs and vaccines, Sh166 million on construction of dispensaries and clinics and Sh124 million on drilling boreholes among other development projects.

The county was also censured by the Controller of Budget for spending Sh1.63 billion on development activities below the 30 per cent recommend by law. Other revelation from the report included Sh41.28 million spent on construction of Speaker’s residence by the assembly.

Bomet County Executive was also reported to have spent twice it had budgeted for domestic and foreign travel after it used Sh63.96 million yet it had budgeted Sh31.4 million.

Muranga County Executive also spent Sh106 million on domestic and foreign travel whereas it had a budget of Sh30 million.

Nyandarua Assembly and Executive spent Sh62.78 million and Sh128 million on domestic foreign travel higher than they had budget for in the 2014-15 financial year.

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