NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – The Council of Governors (CoG) plans to petition the Senate to look into rising concerns over the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) which they are blaming for the fraudulent loss of billions in public funds.
CoG Chairman Peter Munya who was appearing before the Senate Public Investment and Accounts Committee (PIAC) said he will present the petition on Friday to the Senate Committee on Finance and Economics led by Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow.
PIAC Chairman Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu) alongside his Nyamira counterpart Okong’o Mong’are had urged him to petition the committee in his bid to initiate dialogue between the governors and National Treasury together to resolve the loopholes in the intergovernmental online procurement platform.
The Meru Governor cited failure of the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to convene a meeting of a technical committee, agreed on by the summit, to look into some of the financial concerns by counties.
“When we raised this matter at the last summit, a committee was appointed and the committee had specific instructions for them to actually audit the system and advice on what is needed to be done to improve system so that it serves the people better. So you need to ask the relevant institution, why has that committee never given its report?” he posed.
Munya proposed procurement of goods and services for county operations should be localised to allow the participation of county residents noting that IFMIS is prone to internal manipulation by individuals both at the National and County Government levels leading to loss of taxpayers’ money.
“Most of the fraud that has been happening using IFMIS is actually happening in the County Accounts at the Central Bank (of Kenya). What that means is actually fraud can be done without even the county officers involvement at all, because the county officers are not entirely in control of the system,” the Meru Governor stated.
“Is there somebody, anywhere who is not in a hurry to provide those safeguards so that you can allow fraudulent deals to be done using them.”
IFMIS provides transparency in procurement and ensures tracking of transactions, enhancing accountability and closing corruption loopholes.
This comes days after pressure mounted on Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, to act on alleged loss of Sh51 million in his county.
Kingi has said that Sh8 million has already been recovered with investigations ongoing to recover the rest of the money.
Munya blamed the system for the loss of Sh51 million Kilifi County funds, saying Governor Kingi was not at fault as he quickly initiated investigations to prevent further loss of money.
Other counties like Siaya, Kitui and Kakamega have also raised concerns that they system was prone to manipulation.
The loss of Sh1.6 billion at the National Youth Service (NYS) also points at how individuals have learnt how to beat the system, with reports indicating that zeros were added at the end of figures to bloat the budget for the supply of material.
But, the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has defended claims that the introduction of IFMIS has not been successful in tackling corruption as anticipated.
He said the government financial system currently being used to improve the country’s financial management is working well and is set for routine reviews to see how it can be enhanced.
“The reality is that there is nothing wrong with IFMIS. It has helped track all you are seeing like the National Youth Service (NYS),” Rotich recently told the Senate Finance committee.
He said the government has tendered seeking an international reputable organisation to do quality review checks of the whole system that was acquired in 2012.