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November 20, 2017

Auditor reveals 'glaring irregularities' in hiring of Kinuthia Mbugua's staff

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui with his predecessor Kinuthia Mbugua during his swearing-in at Nakuru showground, August 21, 2017. /BEN NDONGA
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui with his predecessor Kinuthia Mbugua during his swearing-in at Nakuru showground, August 21, 2017. /BEN NDONGA

Nakuru county illegally hired staff during Governor Kinuthia Mbugua's tenure, the 2015/16 report by the Auditor General has revealed.

It indicated "glaring irregularities" in the recruitment of ward administrators and personal records of officers in job group N.

The report also stated the payroll was irregular and that it caused the wage bill to rise to Sh17,219,112.

The auditor general further reported the public service board neither developed nor adopted a scheme to guide recruitment and placement of staff into various job groups.

MANY ADMINISTRATORS

The county has 55 wards yet 90 administrators were recruited and only 55 found deployable.

"The county public service management wrote to the pubic service board requesting recruitment of 80 ward officers on September 1 2014. After the interviews, a list of 80 successful [people] was communicated. An additional 10 administrators were requested and were subsequently recruited by the board," read part of the report.

The document indicated the PSB required officers with certain levels of academic qualification but most of those in group N were fresh college graduates without experience.

"Some officers were engaged without having necessary academic qualification. Some of the files examined had no evidence that applicants were working in places mentioned in their respective Curriculum Vitaes."

52 OFFICERS IN JOB GROUP H

The audit of the County's payroll showed 52 officers under job group H despite lack of budgetary provisions and cabinet approval.

"Although a request from the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Public Works for 20 cadent officers [was made] in June 2015, thy were interviewed and recommended for employment and no requisition from any other ministry was forwarded to the PBS to recruit the staff under Job group H,' the report states.

"No advertisement, shortlisting nor interviews were conducted to fill the positions."

The report showed the county did not present any authority or communication instructing the payroll officer to include the workers.

"It is unclear how the officers were assigned personal numbers and included in the payroll."

Related: High Court lifts arrest warrant against Kinuthia Mbugua

'VICIOUS BOARDROOM WRANGLES'

The assembly formed an investigative committee on the illegal hiring in 2015 and was told differences among the seven members of the board began to emerge in February that year.

The committee was told vicious boardroom wrangles and interference by the Executive may have contributed to the unlawful recruitment.

The then Speaker Susan Kihika set up the investigation after members adopted a report by another committee thatinvestigated the recruitment of sub-county administrators, ward administrators and casual workers in 2014 and 2015.

That committee had recommended the suspension of the board over the unauthorised recruitment. It also sanctioned the sacking of some 36 administrative officers it said were hired unlawfully.

The county's bloated workforce has raised concern, with the Senate calling for a forensic audit to ascertain the exact number of staff in the payroll, their roles and qualifications.

Mbugua appeared before the Senate Finance Committee later and said there were 7,000 employees whose pay swallowed up 43.5 per cent of Nakuru's annual budget.

Related: Kinyanjui sends over 200 Nakuru staff on compulsory leave, orders audit

Also read: Court suspends Nakuru CECs vetting after MP's suit

 

 

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