CDF saga, Auditor General says school buses bought cannot be traced

CDF saga, Auditor General says school buses bought cannot be traced

School buses bought using constituency development fund cannot be traced, while others have no logbooks, a report by the Auditor-General has revealed.

Audit reports on the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) for the financial year ended June 2020 tabled in the National Assembly by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya also expose how MPs’ cronies syphoned money off the fund.

Although MPs do not sit in the CDF committees, they play a bigger role in the selection of the team that manages the fund.

This gives them room to appoint their cronies, including spouses, to manage the fund.

MPs receive about Sh140 million of CDF yearly and there is already a Bill by Butere MP Tindi Mwale seeking to double the amount.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu noted that in Embakasi North, Sh8 million was used to buy school buses which were fully paid for by November 2020, but ownership documents were not provided for audit.

“Further, the buses were not presented for physical verification. In the circumstances, the existence of the buses and value for money for the expenditure could not be confirmed,” reads the audit report.

Mr James Gakuya is the area MP.

The report has not, however, stated the number of buses and the schools the buses were to be given.

In another report for Kitutu Masaba tabled in Parliament, Sh22.4 million was used to buy school buses, but ownership documents were neither made available for audit nor delivered to the schools. The area MP is Shadrack Mose.

In Kabuchai, Sh22.3 million was used for the procurement of three school buses and five acres, but only two of the buses have a logbook.

According to the report, a logbook for one of the buses was not provided for audit, hence the ownership of the bus could not be verified. Ms Gathungu also say the title deeds for the five acres were not available for audit. The area MP is Majimbo Kalasinga.

In Embakasi Central, the auditor has questioned a Sh15.9 million contract for the renovation of a classroom, an administration block and a toilet at Bondeni Primary School.

Documents not provided included signed tender opening documents, copies of advertisement, appointment letters for the tender opening committee, contract evidence of engagement of relevant government ministries, minutes of evaluation committee, signed professional opinion, and evidence that the contractor was in the register of contractors maintained by the National Construction.

Ms Gathungu, therefore, concludes that the validity of the contract cannot be ascertained.

The misuse of public resources was also exposed in Nakuru Town East, where, Sh1.9 million used to buy tree seedlings for distribution to schools could not be traced as the list of recipient schools was not provided.

In Kipipiri, 21 projects with a cumulative funding of Sh37 million were characterised by poor workmanship, anomalies as others stalled.

Ms Gathungu further noted that the project management committees in the constituencies were not operating independently in procurement of goods, services and works, implementation and payment for goods, services as provided under Section 36 of the National Government Development Fund Act, 2015. Mr Kimunya is the area MP.

Sh6.4 million used by Bomet East CDF committee in meetings could not be accounted for. The report says no evidence. “Committee expenses amounting to Sh6, 438,400 were not supported by any schedules of meetings held, amount paid to each member and the dates of the meetings,” reads the audit report.

In Likoni, whose MP is Mishi Mboko, Ms Gathungu has questioned Sh3.7 million paid as allowances to CDF committee members after having more meetings beyond the required number. Section 43 (11) of the CDF Act, 2015, stipulates that the constituency committee shall meet six times in a year and not more than 24 in the same financial year, but, in this case, the committee held 29.

“This resulted in payment of committee allowance amounting to Sh205,000, which were not justified or explained.”

Irregular payment of allowances has also been flagged in Subukia, where Sh3.5 million was paid to committee members.

The amount includes Sh960,000, which, according to the report, was paid to deputy county commissioner, district accountant and fund accounts manager, even though the trio, being ex-official members, are not entitled to allowances.

“The management has not explained how the ex-officio members…were paid allowances.”

In Awendo, Sh17 million cannot be traced because of irregular contract variation in the construction of Kenya Medical Training College in Awendo and Awendo police division headquarters.

Ms Gathungu says the contractor terminated works after pocketing Sh10 million. A new contractor was engaged at a cost of Sh55 million up from the initial cost of 39 million.

The Auditor, therefore, concludes that the value for Sh10 million paid to the first contractor cannot be confirmed.

On the police headquarters, the auditor has faulted the management for starting the construction without verifying the ownership of the land.

Due to this, a person has gone to court claiming ownership, leading to stoppage of works after the payment of the Sh7 million.

The irregular use of funds continues in Naivasha, represented by Jayne Kihara, where Sh18.6 million meant for bursary was not supported by any schedules.

“The regularity and value for money amounting to Sh7, 100,000 could not be confirmed,” reads the report. The MP is Walter Owino

In Mandera East constituency, Sh 8.6 million transferred to primary schools cannot be traced as bank statements were not provided by the project management committee for audit review.

“Further, tender documents in respect to this transfer had not been signed by the tenderers and payment records revealed that payments were made before the certificates of completion were issued.

In the circumstances, the validity of the expenditure for transfer to primary schools amounting to Sh8.6 million cannot be ascertained,” reads the audit report. The area is represented by Omar Mohammed.

The irregular use of public funds continues in Naivasha constituency represented by Jayne Kihara where a total of Sh18.6 million meant for bursary were not supported by any schedules.

This means that the list of beneficiaries nor names of the schools where the money was supposedly disbursed were not provided to the auditors for verification that indeed the amount awarded as bursaries.

The same problem is replicated in Borabu constituency where the auditor has questioned Sh18 million relating to bursaries. Out of the amount, Sh6 million was meant to be disbursed to secondary schools while Sh12 million to tertiary institutions.

However, the report indicates that the expenditure was not supported by any acknowledgements from the beneficiary schools and institutions.

“In the circumstances, it was not possible to ascertain whether the bursaries amounting to Sh18 million benefited the intended beneficiaries and whether it was expended as appropriated,” reads the Audit report. The MP is Ben Momanyi

In Tiaty constituency where Sh3.3 million is marked as spent on emergency projects but Ms Gathungu says in the report that no details of the projects were given for audit review. The MP is William Kamket

“The nature of emergency, minutes of the project management committee meetings, expenditure returns as well as monitoring and evaluation committee reports were not provided,” the auditor says.

As other constituencies mis-use their allocations, interestingly, in Kinangop constituency, there is an under-absorption of their budget as the report indicates that a total of Sh51.4 million was not used and no reason was provided.

“No satisfactory explanations have been rendered for the under absorption. Consequently, the residents of Kinangop constituency did not receive the envisioned services,” reads the audit report.

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