At least Sh840 million could have been misappropriated in Kilifi by the county executive in 2019-20 financial year.
A report by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu reveals the county government of Governor Amason Kingi spent the huge sum without Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o’s approval.
In some instances, the county exceeded set ceilings in the suspicious expenditures that could have cost the taxpayers millions of shillings.
According to the 2019-20 audit financial report for Kilifi, the county spent Sh251.6 million on recurrent but the same was not approved by the country’s budget boss, triggering doubts about the propriety of the funds.
Another Sh200 million was spent on development behind Nyakang’o back with another Sh389.4 million expenditures exceeding ceiling set by the CoB.
The report shows that Kilifi owes its suppliers and contractors Sh1.2 billion.
Out of the total outstanding debt, Sh487.76 million has been pending for more than a year with another Sh133.57 million being incurred on a vote whose budget had been exhausted.
“This was done contrary to section 53(8) of the PPAD Act, 2015,” the report reads in part.
The Act states that an accounting officer should not commence any procurement proceeding until satisfied that sufficient funds to meet the obligations of the resulting contract are reflected in its approved budget estimates.
The audit flagged a seven-year debt of Sh157.83 million owned to the Ministry of Health by the county government.
“However, the management has not explained the reasons for failure to settle these long standing debts,” Gathungu said in the report.
The auditor also cast doubt on the recoverability of some Sh43.24 million that has been stolen from the county coffers by unscrupulous companies and fraudsters.
The cash was lost through online transfer from the recurrent account to firms under unclear circumstances.
The auditor also indicted the county government for failing to remit Sh27.06 million to several authorities against the requirements of section 19(4) of the Employment Act, 2007.
This is despite the county government having deducted the cash from the payroll of its staff.
Gathungu also flagged the possible loss of Sh43.51 million reportedly spent on training.
While the county spent the cash, the county did not submit relevant supporting documents.
“However, a training needs assessment to identify skill gap, basis for identification and selection of officers trained and the annual training plan was not provided for audit review,” it reads.
The auditor also faulted the county government for spending Sh1.45 million on school fees for needy children.
The county government had earlier established the Kilifi county ward scholarship funds which is allocated Sh350 million annually.
“The management has not provided explanations on why the school fees donations were not credited to the bank account for the fund,” the report states.