UNSPENT, WASTED

Uasin Gishu failed to use Sh3.2n in 2018-19, says Auditor

Residents did not receive all the development and other services due them.

In Summary

• The under-absorption was more severe in development because Sh2.7 billion or 59 per cent of the budget was not spent.

• Auditor said consequently residents did not receive all services due from county Executive.

 

Governor Jackson Mandago speaking at Lelmokwo in Uasin Gishu on February 12.
EXECUTIVE: Governor Jackson Mandago speaking at Lelmokwo in Uasin Gishu on February 12.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Uasin Gishu county has been faulted by the Auditor General for failing to spend more than Sh3.2 billion allocated for 2018-19, mostly for development.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in her official audit questioned why it was not used. 

Counties always complain the National Treasury does not send them enough money.

Failure to spend the money meant many development projects were never started or completed.

Gathungu, in her counties report, cited a final expenditure of Sh10 billion and actual expenditure of Sh6.9 billion, resulting in under-absorption of Sh3.2 billion or 32 per cent of the budget that year.

The under-absorption was more severe in development because Sh2.7 billion or 59 per cent of the budget was not spent.

“The under-absorption of the budget and failure to spent 26 per cent of the revenue collected during the year meant some projects and activities planned for execution were not implemented," the audit report said.

Gathungu said that as a result of underspending, the residents of Uasin Gishu did not receive all the services due from the county executive.

The county statement of receipts and payments also reflects Exchequer releases of Sh6.9 billion. But the county reported the equitable share of Sh949.5 million and donor funds of Sh3.5 million  totalling Sh1.09 billion.

They were received in July 2019 after the end of the financial year under review.

The Auditor General said the delayed remittance of budgeted funds violated the law and delayed implementation of projects and activities.

The county also had debts to trade creditors amounting to Sh129.3 million and unremitted staff deductions amounting to Sh152.1 million - totalling Sh281.5 million. The county Executive did not explain why the debts were not paid on time, the auditor said.

The auditors sampled 54 projects valued at Sh1.4 billion and found  expenditures at the time of the audit amounted to Sh681.9 million.

Gathungu said 39 of the projects worth Sh460.6 million were complete, while six projects contracted at Sh22.6 million were ongoing.

Nine projects worth Sh372.2 million had stalled while Sh79.5 million was paid to contractors.

The county Executive did not explain why the projects stalled or what action was being taken to revive and complete them, the report read.

“With the projects stalled, no value has been received on funds totalling Sh79.5 million invested therein. Further, the services the projects were expected to provide to the residents of Uasin Gishu have not been realised," the report read.

The county received Sh933.5 million as donor funds, including Sh114 million from the Danish development agency, the EU and the Kenya Devolution Support Programme, but the money was not included in the budget.

“Therefore, the funds were received and spent contrary to provisions on receipt of grants by county governments as prescribed in the Public Finance Management Act," Gathungu said.

"Donor funding payments made during the year under review amounted to to Sh106 million, meaning the unused funds stood at Sh959 million."

The county used Sh3 billion, or 38 per cent of its budget, on compensation of employees, thus exceeding the ratio of 35 per cent required under the law, the audit showed.

Gathungu said the statement of receipts and payments reflects the county's own-generated revenue of Sh905 million. The balance, however, reflects miscellaneous receipts totalling Sh1.3 billion, being direct bank deposits that have not, however, been assigned to any revenue stream.

“In the circumstances, the accuracy and completeness of the county own-generated revenue balance of Sh905 million was not confirmed," the report read.

The county had projected it would collect Sh1.2 billion but fell short by Sh294.1 million.

(Edited by V. Graham)