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Kiambu muddle: Sh2bn can’t be traced, staff drunk, lazy – EACC

By Star

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu addresses Limuru residents during a function to mark World Environment Day, June 5, 2018. /GEORGE MUGO

A 2017 EACC audit of the Kiambu county government has revealed massive irregularities, as lack of an assets register puts Sh2 billion properties at risk.
The report said many employees are undisciplined, unskilled, intoxicated and lazy, leading to poor services and loss of resources.

It reported insubordination, theft, lateness, forgeries, neglect of duty and absenteeism.Many staff members were employed in roles for which there were no trained and there was no induction, the EACC said.

“Revenues collected daily cannot be tracked, which has seen individual staff run away with as much as Sh1 million,” the EACC said.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission said the county lacks proper records of ownership, location and value of property worth Sh2 billion. Records of 28 bank accounts also are lacking, its report said.

The report on the Executive shows the county had unsupported expenditure of Sh786 million. This has damaged Kiambu’s credit rating, triggered disputes and opened loopholes for corruption.
The EACC also found the county had a huge variance in its payroll for successive months.

Revenue declines

For instance, personnel emoluments for September and October 2017 stood at Sh400,612,839 and Sh526,982,937 respectively — an increase of Sh126,370,097. The payroll was not reconciled to explain the variance.

“This led to payment of staff who had either retired or deserted duty,” the EACC says.

There are no documents to trace Sh194 million annual rent collected from county properties.

“A number of officers are allowed to collect revenue on top of their core duty, which creates a loophole for theft,” the report reads. Revenue collection declined by Sh135 million in 2016-17 and what is collected cannot be properly accounted for.

The county also lacks details of properties inherited from the defunct local authorities. It can’t track fixed assets such as furniture and computers, among other items.

“The county Executive without following the laid-down procedure introduced new signatories to bank accounts,” the EACC says.

The report said officials failed to carry forward closing balances for a number of months, according to the records provided. The last cash manual book was updated last November.

Thousands of casual workers have been deployed to collect revenue. “The county executive failed to remit funds to medical facilities,” the EACC said.

Documents were not found for the Sh60 million Youth Fund and Women’s Fund, it said.

The report shows the county engineers set project prices high above market prices. There was no monitoring of the status for projects and most have stalled.

The IEBC said Ifmis is not fully operational. Other weaknesses include lack of vouchers to support payments. Revenue collected and banked from hospitals can’t be traced.

The commission cited poor utilisation of bursary monies. In one case, the county used funds meant for bursaries to pay allowances to officers involved in writing cheques to beneficiaries.

MOST PROJECTS STALLED

Most public land has been grabbed, the EACC report said. Departments lack strategic plans or guidelines.
“Transactions were processed offline and keyed into the system later which made it difficult to monitor financial transitions, leading to fraud,” the EACC said.

Most imprests are fake, not surrendered within the stipulated time, can’t be traced in Ifmis or were not supported by receipts dated before their advancement, it said.

ICT systems used for integrated payroll and Ifmis are vulnerable to hacking threats.

The Kiambu executive doesn’t support health facilities, it said. The county has violated all procurement procedures, the watchdog said.

Documents for goods received, store control cards and received as well as issued do not tally.
Most projects stalled, though contractors were paid in advance.

“Fuel cards were credited with Sh550,000 but not assigned to any car. Some cards are lost and the funds used.” Some vehicles were fueled twice a day at the same station almost at the same time.