ACCOUNTABILITY

MPs summons Treasury PS over Sh7.4bn Judiciary spending

Will appear alongside Registrar Amadi before the oversight team chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

In Summary
  • The MPs say the explanation given by the registrar was inadequate and did not give proper accounts of how the cash was spent.
  • The registrar was appearing to respond to audit queries raised in the 2018-9 report.
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi
Image: COURTESY

Parliament has summoned Treasury PS Julias Muia to explain how Judiciary spent Sh7.4 billion, money meant for, among other uses, the construction of courts.

National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee on Monday made the decision after failing to get adequate responses from Registrar of the Judiciary Ann Amadi.

The PS will appear alongside Amadi before the oversight team chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

On Monday, Amadi was taken to task to explain how Sh7.4 billion was utilised, with lawmakers questioning the probity in the multibillion-shilling spending.

The MPs said the explanation given by the registrar was inadequate and did not give proper accounts of how the cash was spent.

Amadi was appearing to respond to audit queries raised in the 2018-19 report.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu raised concerns that the statement of assets and liabilities reflects accounts payable amounting to Sh7.4 billion but a listing of bank deposits in support of the accounts payable provided reflected a balance of Sh6.6 billion, resulting in a difference of Sh802.7 million.

“In view of the foregoing, the accuracy, completeness and validity of the reported accounts payable—deposits balance of Sh7,410,138,140 could not be confirmed,” the report reports.

But Amadi said that of the total amount of Sh7.4 billion, only Sh372 million is unreconciled.

Wandayi and Garissa Township MP Aden Duale demanded a detailed explanation of how the money was spent and whether there was any misappropriation.

The Ugunja MP wondered how the cash was not reflected in the cash book as was pointed out by the Auditor General, yet it was basic accounting matters that ought not to have been ignored.

"What we are going to do is to stand down this matter and mark it as not conclusive so that we can have the National Treasury Principal Secretary here with us. We will tell him to accompany you so that we can understand how this money was spent,” he said.

Duale said the Treasury PS should appear before them to give account for the Sh7.4 billion.

"We want to know exactly where this money is, how you committed the Sh7 billion. The PS Treasury must come here and sit with you so that we can engage the two of you together. You are very cagey in the answers you are giving us and your message is not clear at all,” he said.

The report further indicated that during audit inspections carried out in the months of August and September 2019, where a sample of eight courts was considered, court documents verified revealed outstanding depositors balance of Sh1.2 billion, while the supporting list provided at the head office reflected a balance of Sh1.3 billion resulting in an unexplained difference of Sh140.5 million.