Governors call for audit over discrepancies in pending bills

Thursday, December 5th, 2019 00:00 |
Governors Anne Waiguru her deputy Peter Ndambiri and Mike Sonko when they appeared before senate Finance committee. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

At least nine governors have requested the Senate to establish a special committee to audit and verify ineligible pending bills amounting to Sh37.7 billion owed by county governments.

During the 10th ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Budget Economic Council meeting on February 6, 2019, the Auditor General conducted verification of pending bill list amounting to Sh88.99 billion, out of which Sh51.28 billion was noted to be eligible while pending bills worth Sh37.7 billion were found to be ineligible.

However, the county chiefs are now accusing the offices of the Auditor General and Controller of Budget (COB) of coming up with discrepancies in pending bills that have ended up being either imaginary or fabricated.

The county heads include Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Samuel Tunai (Narok) and Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Hillary Barchok (Bomet), Mohammed Kuti (Isiolo), Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Vihiga deputy Governor Patrick Saisi.

In particular, the county bosses who  were appearing before the Senate Finance and Budget committee, want the proposed team to audit a pending bill worth Sh37.7 billion that was found to be ineligible in a special report by the auditors. 

Mutua said some of the documents presented to the auditors who carried the special audit either had no procurement plan or had not supplied any goods or services to the county government. 

Special committee

“We are  humbly requesting the Senate to form a special committee to audit pending bills owed by the 47 county governments properly,” Mutua told the Mandera Senator Mohamed Mahamud-led committee.

 Njuki  termed the ballooning bills as a creation of the National Treasury because of the late disbursement.

He said Treasury always delays releasing funds to their  accounts and sometimes releases monies at the end of the financial year, which makes it difficult for counties to clear pending bills.

Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok said the auditors, while presenting the special audit to his administration, termed the report copy pasting a section of it, was done in Nandi county and Kericho county while the report was meant for Bomet.

“We rejected the report, they had to go back, till today one year down the line, they are yet to come back,” he said.

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