Auditor General raises red flag over the expenditure by Siaya assembly

 Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Siaya County Assembly finds itself in a precarious situation due to suspicious spending on domestic and foreign travel and subsistence.

According to a report released by the  Auditor General for the financial year 2021-2022, some Sh84.6 million was disbursed to officers of the County Assembly while they were on duty outside their designated workstations.

In the report, the auditor said upon reviewing records and analysing the payments, it was evident that these officers received travel and subsistence allowances for periods ranging from 100 to over 200 days in a year, without adequate justification.

The report stated, "In the circumstances, the propriety and completeness of the expenditure of Sh84,659,740 related to domestic travel and subsistence could not be confirmed."

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu also raised questions regarding the expenditure of Sh64.8 million, which was allocated for drilling and equipping boreholes and the construction of water kiosks in 28 ward offices.

According to the report, the contract was initially awarded at a contract sum of Sh117 million on October 15, 2020, with a stipulated completion date of July 10, 2021.

However, as of January 21, 2022, the project remained incomplete despite payments amounting to Sh64.8 million being disbursed, as highlighted by Gathungu in her report.

The report further details how the assembly made salary payments outside the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database (IPPD).

The statement of receipts and payments indicated a compensation of employees' balance amounting to Sh323.6 million. This balance encompassed basic wages for temporary employees, totaling Sh37.6 million, of which Sh31 million pertained to salaries paid to ward office staff through manual payment vouchers, circumventing the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database (IPPD) Management System.

Attempts to get a comment from the county assembly leadership were futile.