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Senators query Laikipia governor over Sh34.7m insurance tender

Senate committee questions why governor and finance officers delayed in provision of documents for audit

In Summary

• Governor says they provided documents for audit but senators say they were submitted late to mean they were 'cooked'. 

• Auditor's report says tender evaluation minutes and policy documents for the insurance covers were not provided. 

Laikipia governor Nderitu Muriithi
LATE DOCUMENT PRESENTATION: Laikipia governor Nderitu Muriithi
Image: FILE

The Senate County Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday threatened to have the ethics agency probe Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi over an insurance tender for county workers. 

Muriithi, who appeared before the oversight committee alongside his finance officers, failed to provide documents to support the procurement of four insurance firms to cover the staff and vehicles against risks at Sh34.7 million. 

“This query has now turned into a serious issue. You have come all the way from Laikipia with half-baked documentation,” committee chairman Moses Kajwang said.

Last year, Laikipia awarded Monarch Insurance Company Ltd, Amaco Insurance Company Limited, CIC Insurance Company Ltd and Britam Insurance Company Ltd Sh34,720,345 tenders to provide the service.  

However, the auditor flagged the procurement in his 2018-19 report after the county officers failed to provide the necessary documentation for audit.

“Tender evaluation minutes and policy documents for the insurance covers were not provided,” the report reads.

The committee ordered Muriithi to provide the documentation by close of business on Thursday to substantiate the procurement or it would invite the anti-graft agency to investigate the deal.

The governor denied underhand dealings in the procurement and promised to submit the documents.

Murithii and his finance officers were also put to task over the procurement of drugs from the Kenya Medical and Supplies Authority. The officers did not provide the required supporting documents to authenticate the procurement.

“Requisitions, triplicate copies of Local Purchase Orders, goods received, notes from health facilities and inspection and acceptance reports of the supplies were not presented for audit review,” the report reads.

The county boss admitted the failure by his officers to submit the papers to the auditor but reiterated that the documents had since been availed. But the senators questioned why the documents were not availed in time for the audit.

“We can easily say the documents have been ‘cooked’ because the law says the county should provide documents three months after the end of a financial year,” Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina said.

Earlier, the governor had been pushed to the corner to explain bizarre budget lines of the county's financial books.

The county, according to the financial statements presented to the committee, spent more than Sh3.4 billion on programmes and functions meant for the national government.

According to the document, the county spent Sh2.4 billion on legislative oversight, Sh19 million on constituency office expenses, Sh480 million on census and surveys, Sh2.8 million coordination of Vision 2030 and Sh17 million on economic policy and national planning.

“Your Finance CEC took garbage and attached it to this file as a true position of your finances,” Kajwang said.

But county chief vehemently defended his officers, reiterating that the anomalies in the financial statements were caused by the Ifmis.

“There were problems with the configuration of Ifmis. Those pages with anomalies are actually printouts from Ifmis and they are not our documents," Muriithi told the committee. 

Edited by R.Wamochie