A damning audit report has once again put the Ministry of Devolution and Planning on the spot for failing to account for more than Sh102 billion.

In auditing the ministry’s financial statement for the year that ended June 30 2016, Auditor General Edward Ouko said that the ministry is yet to resolve accountability issues raised in the 2015 audit report where close to Sh42 billion could not be located.

The report has also raised a red flag on Sh60.7 billion that could not be traced in the financial report for the year under review.

According to the auditor general’s report, the ministry did not offer an explanation or mitigating measures taken so far to recover Sh1,964,426,798 spent on transfer to other government units during the 2013/2014 financial year under Head-103005300 Planning and Development-Headquarter. The amount had not been budgeted for.

Furthermore, the ministry fell short of giving explanation and mitigation measures for Sh2,871,368,369 spent on transfers to other government utilities during the 2014/2015 financial year. The amount, which had not been budgeted, for includes Sh2,151,010,210 transfered to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. This amount has not been supported by transfer dates.

The audit has also resurrected ghosts of the National Youth Service (NYS) saga that saw Anne Waiguru, the then cabinet secretary for Devolution and Planning and now governor Kirinyaga County, resign in late 2015.

The ministry in 2013/2014 financial year awarded a tender for construction of flats at NYS Vocational Training Institute in Industrial Area at an estimated cost of Sh49, 105, 721 to be completed in 52 weeks. The contractor was paid Sh7, 111, 432 for certificate number one.

However, a physical verification in February 2015 showed that the work was abandoned at foundation level. Even so, the ministry did not provide information on site and management meetings hence the project appears to have stalled.

 

The report has also unmasked a glaring variance in disbursement to semi-autonomous government agencies, putting credibility question to up to Sh36.9 billion as stated in the statement of receipts and payments for the year that ended June 30, 2015.

For instance, the amount disbursed by the ministry to the Anti-FGM Board, National Youth Council, NEPAD Kenya Secretariat, President’s Award Scheme, Uwezo Fund and Youth Enterprise Development Fund totals to Sh1,106,836,773 but only Sh839,974,582 is received hence Sh266,862,190 is unaccounted for.

In another instance, the report show NGO Board, and Women Enterprise Fund receiving Sh80 million more than what was disbursed by the ministry.

”The accounting officer has not so far provided justifications for these irregularities. Consequently, it has not been able to confirm the accuracy or validity of the payments totaling to Sh36,873,950,688 made to government entities including in the corresponding figures for 2014/15 in the financial statements for 2015/16,” said Ouko.

The auditor general has also doubted credibility of Sh43.3 billion disbursed by the ministry to semi autonomous government agencies during the year under review.

Where as the ministry disbursed Sh4,061,346,819 to six agencies including Mechanical and Transport Fund, Youth Enterprise Fund, NGO Board, KNBS, KSG and NEPAD Kenya, a total of Sh4,244,658,944 was received, at least Sh183 million more than what was disbursed.

“Despite the huge disperser, no reconciliation or explanation has been provided by the accounting officer, putting to doubt credibility of Sh44, 339, 150, 438 as indicated in the financial statement,” said Ouko.

Although the statement of receipts and payments reflects an expenditure of Sh6 billion on acquisition of non-financial assets, details of an expenditure totaling Sh2,792,941,671 has not been provided while the balance of Sh3,291,103,865 has not been supported with payment vouchers, invoices, contract documents, requisition notes, procurement plan and a fixed asset register.

The report has also castigated the ministry for not providing details of pending unsettled bills amounting to Sh2.5 billion during the year under review.

Whereas the statement of asset as at June 30, 2016 reflects a suspense account of Sh69.7 million, the origin and composition of the account has not been explained.

The audit has also pointed at unsupported cash transfers from the State Department of Planning to director general NYS amounting to Sh18.7 million. In addition, any balance as at June 30, 2016 in respect to transfers to director general NYS has not been included in the financial statement.

There is also a significant variance between final approved budget and actual receipts and payments of up to Sh5.6 billion.

Efforts to reach CS Devolution and Planning Mwangi Kiunjuri for comment on the matter failed as he did not answer our calls nor respond to our messages.