Public Accounts Committee summons PS Thugge over Treasury's audit queries

In Summary

• The committee chaired by Opiyo Wandayi unanimously asked the clerk to summon the PS after he failed to appear on a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, pushing the meeting to a later date.

National Treasury PS Kamau Thugge.
National Treasury PS Kamau Thugge.
Image: FILE

Public accounts committee has summoned National Treasury's principal secretary Kamau Thugge to appear before the committee within seven days to answer audit queries arising from ministry's accounts for the financial year 2016/2017.

The queries regard mis-appropriation and mismatch of funds, and pending bills within the treasury as pointed out by Auditor General Edward Ouko.

The committee chaired by Ugunja member of parliament Opiyo Wandayi  unanimously asked the clerk to sermon the PS after he failed to appear on a meeting scheduled yesterday, pushing the meeting to a later date.

The PS was to explain statements on receipts and payments on expenditure amounting to Sh28.07 billion under grants and transfers to government units for the year ending June 30, 2017.

According to the committee, the National Treasury's records revealed that the amounts constituted both recurrent and capital transfers across different account heads and items out of which an amount of Sh167.70 million was indicated to have been paid to individual persons and companies.

“Consequently, it was not possible to ascertain the propriety of the balance of similar amount Sh167.70 million under transfers to other government units,” auditor general report had stated. 

The orders come amid high concerns for pubic financial management in every subsequent budget due to less revenue against high expenditure in the country.

The committee also questions Sh12.17 million in balance of pending bills that was rolled over from the financial year 2015/2016, reflecting to a total amount of pending bills as Sh80.45 million. It said the same amount has been carried over for seven years.

“It has not been explained why the amount of was not cleared as a first charge during the respective years but continue to be rolled over the years with some dating as far back 2011," it added.

“Failure to settle bills during the year to which they relate distorts the financial statements for the year and adversely affects the provisions of the subsequent year to which they have to be charged.”

A review of the statement of comparison between the budget and actual amounts for the 2016/2017 financial year ended as drawn from the Appropriation Accounts revealed that the Development Vote D1071 registered a net expenditure of Sh25.18 billion compared to a budgeted provision of Sh36.10 billion thereby resulting to an under-expenditure of Sh10.92 billion or 30 per cent.

“Although the National Treasury had an overall satisfactory performance, some individual items registered dismal performance while others performed exceedingly above their budgeted amounts,” the report said.

The national treasury falls under unclear use of finances despite it continually pushing other ministries to tighten its expenditure plans even for the current financial year in the lasting poor fiscal performance.

In April, National Treasury shared a circular to all heads of state agencies requiring them to issue explanatory notes to their submitted budgets and financial statements.

PS Thugge said the corporations had factored in grants for both recurrent and development budgets above what had been agreed and allocated by ministries prior to workings for the year.