Misuse of Covid-19 funds Homa Bay County revealed by auditor general Nancy Gathungu.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti .
Homa Bay County government is on the notice for breakdown to account for millions of shillings allocated for Covid-19 management.
The Office of the Auditor-General in its report has revealed several gaps in how the money was used, including loss of public funds possibly through inflatable prices of products and double payments by Governor Cyprian Awiti’s administration.
The report shows that the county government did not have an approved work plan.
It was established that county government didn't register competing bidders for contracts, worth Sh46 million.
Auditor could not establish how Tenders won by companies that built isolation centres and suppliers of Covid-19 management facilities were identified by county government. As Sh10.8 million were used in installing medical gas piping at the ICU, where companies that won tenders for the work were not properly identified.
The report states Sh11.8 million was allocated for renovating an intensive care unit ward at the county referral hospital.
Further, county government opened emergency Covid-19 fund account for managing the funds, but could not explain how the money was being spent. At a certain point, Sh950,000 was deposited in cash into the account and Sh2.6 million moved from another account into the new one.
The county government had not presented it's bank statements on the expenditures, when audit was on progress by June 2020.
The audit report states, “It was also noted that there were cash withdrawals of Sh1.7 million whose purpose and supporting documents for withdrawals like payment vouchers were not presented for verification at the time of the audit."
The national government disbursed grants to county government without a budget and a Covid-19 specific procurement plan to facilitate efficient and effective use of funds.
Auditor report states, “Section 53(1) of the Public Finance Management Regulations, 2015 requires that an accounting officer of any entity should not authorise payment to be made out of funds earmarked for specific activities for purposes other than those activities."
Ms Gathungu turned to Governor Awiti’s administration and recommended that should have a proper work plan by preparing an approved budget.
The auditor stated, “Ensure all officers are paid through an automated payroll system and compliance with public procurement laws. Further investigation will be conducted to establish criminality on unsupported expenditure."
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