The Auditor General has revealed that the Kitui County Government operated 14 illegal bank accounts in the 2016/2017 financial year. The County also operated 6 other bank accounts in the central bank. According to section 82 of the Public Finance Management Act County Governments should open all their accounts at the Central Bank except the account for petty cash. The bank reconciliations for the 14 statements were not availed to the Auditor General.
At the period of the audit, Dr. Julius Malombe was the Governor and Simon M.Mundu was the CECM Finance and Economic Planning. Fidhelis Mwaniko was the Chief officer in charge of Finance deputises by Enoch Nguthu.
According to the report, the County failed to provide a trial balance for the particular year in review. As a result, the Auditor general could not provide an opinion on the County’s financial statement. ” I have not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to confirm that public money has been applied lawfully and in an effective way.”
The Auditor general also questioned understatements and overstatements of 250 million and 295 million in the opening balances for 2016/2017 Financial year. Still in the 2016/2017 Financial year, a variance of 631 million was questioned; 105 million in utilities supplies and services, 205 million in specialized materials and services, 57 million in training expenses ,179 million in road construction among other areas.
In the funds brought forward from 2015/2016, the financial statement and the statement of cash flows differ with 49 million. The financial statement and IFMIS vote book differed in the year under review with more than 400 million.
Despite the County spending more than 540 million in construction and rehabilitation of civil works in the year, tender documents could not be availed to verify the same hence it could not be established whether the people of kitui got value for money. The same was repeated in the supply of oil, fuel and lubricants.
382 million spent in scholarships, civil works, training and operating expenses could not be accounted for. In the year, collected revenue dropped from 416 million in the previous year to 315 million raising eyebrows on whether the funds could have been diverted.
Two companies Esjovia contractors Ltd and Redkam contractors Ltd submitted exact letter – CR12 C101361 confirming ownership of the company. This raised questions on the relation of the two companies. Esjovia contractors won the 2.6 million tender for chain link fencing and gate construction at Voo secondary. The BOQ specified that the chain link was to be 14 gauge, physical verification proved that 16 gauge was used. This is despite the company being paid fully for the works.
On the upgrading of Ithookwe show ground/Kitui Air strip road, a distance of 4km was the basis of the contract but on physical verification the distance was 3.5km, the County therefore lost 16.68million. The documents relating to 21 firms for tenders totalling to 210million were not provided to the Auditor general team for audit verification.
The above are just some of the queries totaling to billions raised by the Auditor general. Kitui and Machakos counties recorded a huge number of queries translating to billions in the 2016/2017 Financial year. The full reports for the Counties are available in the Auditor General Website.