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February 21, 2019

Auditor-General raises querry on top KRA official’s promotion

Auditor-General Edward Ouko on June 12 ,2018 / JOHN CHESOLI
Auditor-General Edward Ouko on June 12 ,2018 / JOHN CHESOLI

Kenya Revenue Authority’s appointment of James Mburu to a non-existing position of Commissioner Intelligence and Strategic Operations was wrong, according to the Auditor-General.

The audit report for the period ending June 30, 2017 says the appointment made in March last year flouted human resource regulations.

The report says Mburu was awarded a job that he did not apply for and continues to be paid Sh880,000 over and above his substantive position remuneration as a deputy commissioner.

It indicates that the position of commissioner investigations and enforcement was advertised on November 17, 2016 for which Mburu applied and emerged second best candidate, occasioning his appointment as deputy commissioner.

The board however created a new position in contravention of the authority’s established regulations.

“The position was not advertised and therefore disadvantaged other qualified would-be applicants. The procedure for recruitment followed and the extra salary already paid on promotion is irregular,’’ said Edward Ouko.

The auditor also accuses KRA of contracting a fictitious company to offer online aptitude test services for graduate trainees recruitment and establishment of a psychometric centre for a period 2008 to 2014.

Although documents show the taxman awarded the contract to Working Smart Limited, the job was given to one of its directors as a technical manager for six months. His contract was extended for three months at the same rate without specific deliverables.

In a letter dated January 25, 2010, KRA further extended the technical manager’s contract by another four months. This scenario was repeated on June 9, 2010 before engaging the technical manager to carry out psychometric tests for senior deputy commissioners for Sh272,000.

On January 27, 2015, the authority sought the technical manager’s services now as a human resource expert to support the human resource department in delivering key assignments at Sh25,000 per day for six months with effect from February 1, 2015.

The auditor-general found out that the expert was and is still engaged as an individual and not as Working Smart Limited and all payments are issued to the expert.

“The contract between Kenya Revenue Authority and the human resource expert is irregular and has resulted to a payment of Sh6, 735,570 in 2016/17 financial year alone. No notice inviting expression of interest had been issued,’’ said Ouko.

He says the consultancy services were single sourced contrary to public procurement regulations.

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