Education Ministry on the spot over Sh360m unexplained expenditure

Auditors unearths several unexplained expenditures

In Summary

Ministry failed to provide supporting documents for Sh1.2 billion disbursed to two universities 

Ministry failed why it spent Sh7 million to rent an office for a state corporation 

Auditor General Edward Ouko
QUERIED: Auditor General Edward Ouko


Auditor General Edward Ouko has queried the expenditure of Sh360 million by the Education ministry, saying it is unexplained.

Ouko said the 2017-18 financial year spending at the State Department of University Education was unsupported.

In a report tabled in the National Assembly by Majority Leader Aden Duale, Ouko raised doubts on the expenditure of Sh330.14 million of the Sh1.2 billion disbursed to Kisii and Moi universities as development grants.

The two universities received Sh279.84 million and Sh935.07 million respectively.

The report said Sh145.70 million of the grant disbursed to Kisii was used to pay a contractor for the construction of an ICT theatre based on the interim certificates raised. Ouko said there were no supporting documents to ascertain the authenticity of the pending bill.

He said both the ministry and Moi University could not explain expenditure of Sh184.44 million that the institution used to settle bills dating back to 2012.

Moi paid Sh33.44 million for the construction of a library and Sh76 million for the construction of a hostel at the school of public health.

“No satisfactory reasons were provided for the delay in settling these debts. The ministry did not provide the policy documents or the university funding minutes to ascertain the actual basis for disbursements,” Ouko said.

The report questioned the expenditure of Sh7.35 million by the ministry. The money was used to rent offices space for the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation officials. The Ministry did not explain why it leased the office for use by a state corporation which has its own budget.

Ouko also poked holes in the payments of Sh20.7 million made to four firms by Higher Education PS in respect of demurrage and storage under a project undertaken by the ministry.

“No supporting or accompanying invoices or demurrage and storage charges were availed for audit. Examination of IFMIS payment details revealed that the payments were made under below the line expenditure whose ledger was also not availed for audit verification,” the report says.

The ministry also failed to fully utilise money allocated for development. This is ironical given that most public universities are riddled with challenges that require funding. Most of them do not have sufficient infrastructure ranging from lecture hall to students' hostels.

The report said the ministry failed to spend Sh700 million out of Sh4.3 billion allocated for development of universities.

“The under absorption of the approved budget is an indication of activities planned but not implemented by the ministry which implies non-delivery of goods and services to citizens."