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County advised to pay for pending bills

A taskforce which was entrusted to audit and scrutinize pending bills by Murang’a county government has recommended for payment of part of the bills amounting to Sh. 646.9 million.

The 11-member committee which was formed on September 16 by the county governor Irungu Kang’ata, received 516 claims of pending bills amounting to Sh. 2.47 billion.

Out of the 516 claims, the taskforce after auditing and scrutiny recommended 176 claims to be considered for payment.

Speaking when handing over the report to Murang’a deputy county governor, the vice chair of the committee, Caroline Njoroge said the taskforce considered payment to be done through a four-year plan starting by December this year.

Njoroge noted that 224 claims amounting to Sh. 1.5 billion were found not recommendable for payment until further scrutiny of various material such as availability of relevant documents, evidence of supply of goods or proof of work done.

“The remaining of 118 claims amounting to Sh. 249.9 million were deemed to fall outside the scope and mandate of the committee as they did not fall within the financial years under the scrutiny,” added Njoroge.

Assumption of office committee handed over Sh. 1.5 billion worth pending bills to the new administration led by Kang’ata prompting formation of the taskforce to audit the bills.

Kang’ata speaking during his inauguration as second governor for Murang’a promised to pay only genuine bills thus the formation of the committee.

The taskforce was mandated to scrutinize accrued pending bills for two financial years that is 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.

Njoroge observed that some of the factors that led to accruing of pending bills included lack of budget monitoring and control.

“We also found that the previous regime failed to adhere to procurement processes as provided by the law thus leading to pending bills,” she noted.

At the same time a committee which was entrusted to undertake a staff audit revealed more than 222 employees were not accounted for.

Presenting the report, one of the committee members Maingi Kamau observed that 222 employees were drawing an annual salary of Sh. 195.5 million.

During the head count, Kamau noted that 5, 366 presented themselves in the exercise adding that 57 of the employees were found to be past retirement age.

“The 57 employees were aged above 60 years that they have attained retirement age and annually they have been accruing more than Sh. 30 million annually,” stated Kamau.

He added that the exercise revealed that the county administration was spending more than 59.5 percent of its revenue in recurrent expenditure.

“The recurrent expenditure is much more than what is recommended by the public finance management regulations. This strained the county government from implementing development projects,” explained Kamau.

He further said the former administration externally contracted services at a cost of 4.9 million per month, noting the services could be rendered by internal staff.

The committee said if the gaps found in the human resources are sealed, the county government can save Sh. 317 million annually.

Speaking after receiving the reports, the deputy governor Stephen Munania lauded the committees saying the information they provided will help the county administration improve its service delivery.

He promised that the recommendation given will be taken into consideration and help the county government seal loopholes where money meant for development was being lost.

“The reports have provided needful information which will help us streamline our workforce and in doing procurement as required by the law,” he noted.

By Bernard Munyao and Anita Omwenga

 

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