Embu County will create an ad hoc committee to audit pending bills with a view to identifying genuine ones as the administration grapples with a Sh 2.2 debt inherited from the previous administration.
Governor Cecily Mbarire said her administration will only clear genuine bills that have all supporting documents and proof of the work done or services rendered.
She said the Pending Bills Committee will be charged with the responsibility of investigating the procurement process to ensure due process was followed and whether work was done on the ground.
“The team will visit the projects and until a contractor gets a clean bill of health from that committee, we will not pay anybody who hasn’t worked,” the county boss said.
Speaking after a prayer breakfast meeting with the staff at the county offices, the governor said there were several cases of contractors agitating to be paid yet they had not done any work while others did shoddy work and others still want to be paid twice.
“This is why the committee is critical so that we can be able to get the true people who should benefit from the payout,” she said a day after the County Assembly passed a supplementary budget of half a billion shillings part of which will go towards clearance of pending bills.
The Governor said the narrative did not hold water as some of the earmarked projects are beneficial to the entire county.
“When you put money in Level Five Hospital or a bus stop in Embu Town where matatus plying all routes operate from, you are therefore supporting the entire county,” she said.
She said the matter had already been settled after a breakdown of the budget to differentiate county projects from ward-specific projects was done.
Governor Mbarire promised that going forward, she will narrow down on other key areas in the next budget, especially provision of water for domestic use and irrigation.
“Most of the water service providers in the entire county are not operating well and don’t have enough water and therefore we shall develop a water masterplan to come up with projects that will help give water to the people wherever they may be,” the governor said.
By Samuel Waititu