PAC demands audit of school funds

January 9, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya , Jan 9 – The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Friday called on the Controller and Auditor General to release the annual audit reports showing funds given to the country by donors to support to the Free Primary Education Programme (FPE) since 2003 in order to clarify misappropriation of funds.

Addressing a news conference at Parliament Buildings, PAC chairman Bonny Khalwale said that the reports which should be in respect to the donor funds which come out every year, is aimed at uncovering the under-funding that has led to the Ministry of Education failing to account for Sh5.5 million.

He at the same time, accused the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) of ignoring President Mwai Kibaki`s directive that FPE funding be investigated.

“KACC has chosen to focus only on the possible loss of funds through workshops within the Directorate of Secondary Schools; and has chosen to ignore the President’s directive that FPE funding be investigated.”

He threatened to petition the Speaker of the National Assembly to recall Parliament if the anti-graft body doesn’t commence its probe into the FPE funding immediately.

The Committee further called for the resignation of two more senior ministry officials to facilitate credible investigations.

“The PS, Director of Basic Education and Director of Quality Assurance and Standards to immediately step aside so as to allow the payments to be properly investigated.”

He said: “Fears now abound that massive destruction, and alteration of vital accounting documents is currently going on in respect of the FPE at the Ministry of Education and in schools”

According to him, the Committee was in possession of a report that showed great anomalies in the disbursement of the funds since the inception of FPE and now wants KACC to question former Education Minister George Saitoti to shed some light over the saga.

The committee wants to know why the PS failed to put in place a structure for monitoring the funds or any structure with an oversight mandate in the Ministry of Education.

According to Dr Khalwale, school heads have been directed to make reports of their schools expenditure returns.

“Why did the PS who had refused to demand for expenditure returns from schools that had received these funds, in the process knowingly promoting lack of accountability, the same PS is now belatedly asking for the returns.”

The PS has denied responsibility for the suspected loss of Sh178 million from the free primary school programme through dishonest accounting.

The United Kingdom has threatened to withhold 1.2 billion shillings following the disappearance of 100 million shillings meant for the Free Primary education programme.

During his Jamhuri Day speech, President Kibaki ordered the anti graft body to investigate the scandal thoroughly and already KACC has dispatched forensic investigators to Jogoo House and the field.


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