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Auditor General queries diversion of development funds

The Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has flagged down the Laikipia County government for reallocating development funds to pay salaries to employees.

             In her report 2018/2019 report Gathungu queried why the Laikipia county government diverted Sh136, 410,000 meant for development to pay salaries for the month of June 2019.

            She further observed that the County government failed to avail for audit review supporting documents for the reallocation to the County Treasury and the approved Supplementary Budget by the County Assembly for the additional expenditure.

            “This was in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 which provides that an Accounting Officer shall submit a Supplementary Budget for approval and shall not authorize the transfer of an amount that is appropriated for capital expenditure except to defray other capital expenditure for creation or renewal of assets,” the report read in part.

            The report further queried an over-expenditure on payment of wages to employees in the period under review, with the County government incurring an excess of Sh185, 834, 512 from the approved budget on salaries of Sh2,430, 324, 299 bringing the total expenditure to hit Sh2,616, 158, 811.

            The Auditor-General further goes on to dismiss the summary statement by the County Government on the over-expenditure was as a result of salary increments, payment of Pay as You Earn (PAYE) and other statutory deductions payments to interns and other temporary staff noting, “the devolved unit did not present for review any additional documentary evidence to justify the over-expenditure.”

             Gathungu further raised the red flag on areas on revenue collection amounting to Sh5, 270,169,779 as at June 2019. She noted that no clear indication had been given of efforts by the County government to recover the amounts.

            “In the absence of a clear and actionable plan of collection of the arrears, the revenue may never be collected,” she concluded.

by Martin Munyi

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