, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – Parliament’s Public Investment Committee on Thursday gave the Auditor General 14 days to finalise auditing the 2017/2018 financial accounts of the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) which is the implementing agency in construction of two controversial dams in Elgeyo-Marakwet County.
PIC Chairman Abdulswamad Nassir gave the directions after the Director of Audit North Rift Lameck Achika said that they were yet to accord KVDA time to respond and address audit queries they discovered during the audit process.
Achika said he expects the exercise to be concluded within the period when Auditor General Edward Ouko gives a certified copy to be presented to the House.
“It is only prudent for us to be able to work knowing very well that there are issues coming up for the other ones. So that we don’t start jumping ship, it is vital for us to get the 2017/18 financial year as well, which has not been tabled.”
“The Auditor has confirmed that by tomorrow he is going to be sending the management letter and the management response is going to come within five days later and then it is going to take you a day for you to be able to forward it to the Auditor General for certification. We will give him a couple of days bearing in mind the public interest in everything.”
The official from the Auditor General’s office said construction of the Arror and Kimwarer dams was conceptualized decades ago but stalled due to lack of funds.
“The process started 20 years ago, but because of resources it was suspended for some time, it is in 2017 that it was revived and the contract between Kenya and an Italian firm was signed. When it was conceptualized, nothing much took place. What happened is that consultants were given a job to do and then the whole thing was shelved. That is why we could not have issues in the first 20 years because the project was inactive. It became active in 2017 and that is why we picked it up in 2017,” Achika explained.
Nassir was speaking when KVDA Managing Director David Kimosop appeared before the committee to respond to audit queries raised in the Auditor General’s report on the 2015/16 financial year.
“The right people to shed that light to us would be the Auditor and thereafter be we can be able to interrogate the KVDA, so within two weeks if we can be able to put these things together.”
Nassir and Rashid Amin (MP-Wajir East) also questioned the auditor on how his incomplete findings were made public yet he admitted that his office had not even circulated it to the KVDA.
“The question that begs is how did the information reach to the public domain? I could understand if the management letter had been leaked but the management letter has not even come out. What that means is that this information must have somehow come out when it was at audit query level,” Nassir noted.
Amin added: “How did this become a public concern yet it was still in the purview of the auditor and the management yet it is within still the time-frame for the management to make a report?”