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Kibicho ties corporation to Sh266m 'loss'

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho (right) with Deputies Inspector General of Police Njoroge Mbugua (centre) and Noor Gabow answer audit queries at Parliament Buildings before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Ministry of Interior has asked Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Sh266.6 million unremitted funds collected through e-citizen services portal for the issuance of Police Clearance Certificate.

The Government digital payments platform allows citizens and visitors to access and pay for all government services online. They include Kenya Revenue Authority payments, registration of business, marriages, driving licenses, land rates or rent, immigration and civil registration services.

This is after the Auditor General raised questions in the 2016/17 financial expenditure, pointing out that Sh266.2 million was not recorded in the Ministry revenue system.

The auditor had reported that the revenue statement showed that the State Department collected Sh373 million against certificate of good conduct. The amount includes Sh55 million and Sh318 million surrendered by the DCI Headquarters and DCI County Offices respectively.

According to Auditor General Edward Ouko, the audit inspection undertaken at the DCI indicated that 639,546 police clearance certificates were issued at an application fee of Sh1,000 each bringing the total due to Sh639,546,000.

"The difference of Sh266.2 million between the amount collectable of Sh639,546,000 and the amount recorded of Sh373,272,300 has not been explained," Mr Ouko had stated.

But appearing before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said the amount in question was as a result of non-remittance by the Postal Corporation.

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"The difference of Sh266 million, which is not recorded, is as a result of non-remittance of revenue collected by the Postal Corporation of Kenya at the Huduma Centres. The matter has since been handed to the DCI to conduct investigations on the accumulated debt and institute legal action if necessary," said Mr Kibicho.

Asked why the auditor flagged the issue of unaccounted revenue collection through e-citizen worth Sh5.6 billion, Kibicho told the committee the amounts in respect to certificate of good conduct, Sh372.2 million, registration of births and deaths, Sh134 million, passport fees, Sh1 billion, and work permits, Sh4 billion, was received.

“The amounts reported are verifiable and can be confirmed using summary monthly collections, Central Bank revenue account statements, "pesa” flow schedule and batch analysis,” said Kibicho.

He explained that in the summary of monthly collections, there was a schedule indicating monthly remittances in respect of all categories of revenue collected by the State Department of Interior.

Apart from that, Kibicho affirmed that under the Central Bank Revenue Account Statements, there were credit entries that related to the e-citizen revenue that could also be confirmed.

“Each individual accessing the portal for a service is given a unique identity and grouped into a particular batch. The batch consists of a number of applicants and the total funds paid by the applicants in a batch are transferred in whole," he explained.

Kibicho further revealed that although they had a contract with Huduma Centre to collect the funds, the latter, on the other hand, remitted the cash through the Postal Corporation of Kenya.

“It is true that there is an issue about the money collected through Huduma Centre. We are dissatisfied with their services, we have written to DCI to commence investigation into this possible loss,” said Kibicho.

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