Treasury faulted for counties’ cash delay

Friday, March 26th, 2021 00:00 |
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu (centre) with other officials when she toured Uasin Gishu County, yesterday. Photo/PD/Wycliff Kipsang

Wycliff Kipsang @wsang08

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has criticised the National Treasury for delaying cash disbursement to counties. 

Speaking yesterday in Eldoret during a meeting with Uasin Gishu deputy governor Daniel Chemno, Gathungu said delay in disbursing funds to the devolved units had contributed to delayed or stalled projects.

The Auditor General was responding to concerns expressed by Chemno that counties often come under fire due to what he termed unfair condemnation from the Office of the Auditor General.

“Sometimes the financial year ends before all the money is released only for the Auditor General’s office to say that funds were not spent,” observed Chemno. 

Such declarations

According to Chemno, such declarations make the public believe county administration had money lying in the accounts, which was not spent.

“The Treasury will give a list of monies released to counties but will never admit that they are responsible for delayed disbursements,” Chemno, who hosted the Auditor General in his office yesterday said. 

Gathungu lauded the county government for the manner in which projects are being implemented. 

“These are fantastic projects being done by County Government of Uasin Gishu but now they should be completed and put to use,” she said. 

She cited Ziwa Level Five Hospital, the construction of administration offices, soil testing laboratory, machinery servicing bay at Agricultural Mechanisation and Value Addition Services (AMVAS), Chepkoilel as some of key projects being implemented by Governor Jackson Mandago’s administration.

The Office of the Auditor General gave approval of phased hand-over so that parts of these facilities can be utilised even as complimentary facilities are ongoing. 

On the issue of unspent monies, the Auditor said that the county does not lose the allocation, adding that they can still utilise the funds in the subsequent financial year. 

County Finance Chief Officer Peter Chesos appealed to the Office of the Auditor General to consider unspent monies as project commitments that by law and policy cannot be disbursed before contractors complete their projects.  

At AMVAS, Gathungu noted that the soil testing laboratory and the farm machinery servicing bay will help farmers in production, because they will offer technical support at very affordable rates. 

Takes note

At Ziwa Level Five Hospital, the Auditor General appreciated the synergy between the National and the county government for implementing a master plan, which will see construction of a high-level hospital and a Medical Training College to serve the county and region at large. 

The team also visited the recently completed Moiben sub-county administration offices where all government functions will be devolved. 

Having toured the projects, Gathungu took note of developments and said her office will update their recently released interim report to include the progress. 

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