Auditor General Ouko queries use of Sh2b drought funds

Monday, August 26th, 2019 00:00 |
Former Auditor General Edward Ouko. Photo/File

Auditor General Edward Ouko has raised concern over Sh2 billion spent on emergency cash transfer to 1.3 million people in 13 arid and semi-arid counties affected by drought in 2017.

Ouko says the money and documents pertaining to its distribution cannot be accounted for.

In a report for the year ending June last year, he said he could not confirm the expenditure as management of the fund did not provide documents for audit to confirm how targeted households were picked.

He said although the implementation was to be in two phases—July to August 2017 and the other in September 2017— it was also impossible for him to verify how the exercise was conducted as the government did not avail documents to show how the beneficiaries were identified.

Further, Ouko regretted that he could not ascertain the exact amount each household was to get, the duration over which they received the cash disbursements and whether the beneficiaries received the actual payments or not.

Sign agreement

Reads part of the report: “During the year under review, an amount of Sh2,000,017,657 was transferred to the fund account. However, no documents have been provided in support of the management’s operation and winding up procedure in respect to this fund as required under the law.”

“It was also not possible to ascertain actual payments made and the beneficiaries. In the circumstances, the accuracy, validity and completeness of the financial statements as at June 30, 2018, could not be confirmed,” added Ouko.

In the report, the Auditor General also raised concern over how World Food Programme (WFP), which was to distribute the cash,  was procured as the service provider for the fund as no documents were given to him to support the contract. 

He regretted that WFP did not provide a monthly return on all expenditure and did not file returns. It also failed to hand in  accountability documentation including details of beneficiaries and how it utilised the funds.

Of the Sh 2 billion, the fund transferred Sh1,921,450,388 to WFP in line with the service provision agreement between them.

Ouko’s questions came after the Special Programmes department, on behalf of the government, signed an agreement with WFP on June 9, 2017, through which WFP agreed to facilitate implementation of the emergency cash transfers.

In the report expected to be considered by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Ouko termed the formation of the relief and rehabilitation cash transfers fund as illegal as no documentation was provided.

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