TIGHT BUDGET

KRA has not paid for police services since 2016

Authority is seeking to have Interior ministry waive the debt, provide security at its stations for free

In Summary
  • KRA owes ministry of Interior Sh143 million for the period between January 2016 and October 2019.
  • Commissioner-general Githii Mburu noted that the commission has not been able to pay legal fees and legal claims among other expenditures due to a tight budget.
The KRA headquarters at the Times Towers.
The KRA headquarters at the Times Towers.
Image: FILE

The Kenya Revenue Authority has not paid for security services offered by police officers deployed at its stations since 2016.

The Ministry of Interior told National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee that efforts to get KRA to clear the outstanding debt over the years have been futile.

The ministry noted KRA owes it Sh143 million for the period between January 2016 and October 2019.

Appearing before the committee to respond to queries raised by the Auditor-General, KRA said it has no enough budgetary allocation to pay for the services.

“While revenue being collected by KRA over recent years has been increasing significantly, funding for the authority has been going down,” said commissioner-general Githii Mburu.

He noted that the commission has also not been able to pay legal fees and legal claims among other expenditures due to a tight budget.

“Over the years, we have not been having any money. We have not been able to rehabilitate our offices, recruit staff and improve field logistics because of lack of funds. We have many demands against insufficient funds,” he stated.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu flagged the outstanding KRA debt in her review of the Interior department’s revenue accounts for the year ended June 30, 2019.

The Interior ministry earned Sh565 million from hiring security services during the financial year.

Gathungu said the KRA debt was in violation of the National Police Service Standing Orders, which require that payments be made before security services are offered or deployed.

KRA noted that it has requested the Ministry of Interior to waive the debt and provide security at its stations for free.

“KRA stations were gazetted and because of this, we were expecting to receive protection without incurring costs,” Mburu explained.

He added, “We hope to receive security services like every other critical office of the government.”

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho in a letter to the committee noted that they have been sending invoices to KRA but no payment has been forthcoming.

He said KRA has agreed that they received the services and promised to pay when funds are availed by the National Treasury.

KRA noted that it has police officers in all its stations countrywide. The authority noted that an officer gets Sh500 per day as meal allowance while the ministry gets Sh500 for every police.

Committee chair Opiyo Wandayi said KRA is a critical office of the government and should get security services without paying for them.

“KRA and Ministry of Interior should sit down together and work out something or else this matter will feature in every audit report,” he stated.

He said the committee will summon officials from the National Treasury to give their opinion on the matter.

-Edited by SKanyara