NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Top finance officers during Evans Kidero’s administration were at pains to respond to financial impropriety queries which have been raised in the Auditor General’s report for the year ending June 2016.
Former County Executive Committee for Finance and Planning Gregory Mwakanongo, Chief Officer Luke Gatimu and Head of Treasury Maurice Okere were tasked to explain to the County Assembly watchdog committee how the County Government spent over Sh480 million on legal services in excess of an approved budgetary allocation of Sh100 million.
“The officers should explain what informed the decision to spend Sh480 million more without following the laid down procedure as required by the Public Finance Management Act,” read part of the auditor’s query.
In defence, the officers said the decision to spend beyond the allocated budget was arrived at due to the emergency of the cases that had been levelled against the county.
The Chair of the Committee Wilfred Odalo questioned the trio why they went ahead to spend money beyond the budget without the approval of the County Assembly.
“We feel it’s deliberate that the Finance Department decided to go ahead and spend money outside the budget without seeking approval from the County Assembly,” stated Odalo.
The committee also found that the Finance Department committed an illegality for spending money outside the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFIMS).
They admitted to have spent outside IFMIS but explained that the money was used to pay for legal services offered to county.
However the committee was not satisfied with the response because no documentation was presented to support the response.
“How can we prove that the money under question was used to pay for legal services yet there is no documentation?”posed the Committee Chair Wilfred Odalo.
The trio requested for more time to compile the required documents and present them before the committee at a later date.
Their request was granted and the committee agreed that they appear next week.