AG office on the spot over disposal of 59 vehicles for Sh7 million

National Assembly Public Accounts Committee Chairman John Mbadi(left) and Vice Tindi Mwale at a past meeting. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The State Law Office has been taken to task by the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee for disposing 59 grounded government vehicles at Sh7 million.

The Solicitor General Shadrack Mose who appeared before the committee chaired by Nominated MP John Mbadi at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, Tuesday, had a difficult time explaining why the Office of the  Attorney General sold the government vehicles at a throw away price

The Auditor General’s report showed the State Law Office did not dispose any assets in the financial year ending June 2022 although 59 motor vehicles had been grounded at various locations.

At the same the logbooks for 10 vehicles bought and delivered by the National Treasury were not provided for audit verification.

“However the State Law Office did not maintain a detailed up to date assets register to keep track of the assets procured and held with this being contrary the Public Finance Management regulations which requires an accounting officer to maintain a register of assets under his or her control or possession as prescribed by relevant laws,” reads the Auditor General report.

Mose told the committee that during the Financial Year 2022/23 the State Law Office disposed the grounded motor vehicle through public auction and a total of Sh7,081,000 was realised. There were also inconsistencies between the motor vehicle register and the list provided by procurement department.

“I promise to provide this committee with the necessary documents for the final transfer of the 59 vehicles to the buyers. We appreciate all the issues raised here since they are meant to ensure streamline accountability process in the State Law office,” he said.

The Solicitor General admitted that at the time of audit the asset register had not been updated however the asset register has since been updated to include all the motor vehicles and the concern of the Auditor General with regard to the new motor vehicles received by the State Law Office having been noted.

Mbadi wondered whether this is a manipulated process, saying that there was only a notice of intention of the sale and only later information that vehicles were sold at a Sh7 million and the committee needs to be given details of the price of each of vehicle.

“This committee should be furnished with the reserve price of each of the vehicle and who was the highest bidder and the relevant document to prove the sale of the 59 government vehicles at a price that is raising eyebrows, we want to know whether Kenyans got value for their money,” he said.