LEADER

Auditor General, Controller of Budget owe Kenyans answers

In Summary

• Counties cannot spend money without approval from the Controller of Budget.

• Auditor General should have flagged unusual allocations in the audit reports.

A file photo of Auditor General Edward Ouko.
A file photo of Auditor General Edward Ouko.

In the past week, Kenyans have been treated to a circus involving county governments' audit reports.

It started when Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu appeared before the Senate and it emerged his government's financial report contained bizarre budget lines, including running State House and pension payments for retired presidents.

But Kiambu is not alone. Reports of eight other counties show the same disturbing anomalies, raising questions about the credibility of the whole budgeting and auditing process.

Curiously, the Auditor General has not, and has never raised queries about these budget lines. It beggars belief that such glaring mistakes would have escaped the attention of a junior accountant in his office.

But there is another more critical question on the role of the Controller of Budget in the county finance process.

Counties are not allowed to spend cash without approval of the Controller of Budget who must allow requests.

If indeed the nine counties spent money in the name of State House, who approved it? The Controller of Budget owes Kenyans an explanation.

And if no money was spent and counties have disowned these financial documents, the onus is on the Auditor General to clear the air on the possibility that his reports may have been doctored.