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Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha. /CFM-FILE.

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How Education Ministry paid Sh1.8 billion to ghost schools

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1-The Ministry of Education is on the spot after it emerged that it has been disbursing cash subsidies to ghost schools and non-existent students amounting to sh 1.8 billion in the just concluded 2019/2020 financial year.

A report by the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu reveals that the Sh 1.8 billion overpayment was made to 2,610 public secondary schools in various counties.

The Auditor General explains that “the overpayment arose from erroneous computations of July and September, 2019 disbursements, inflation of enrolment numbers in January 2020, and double payment to some schools”.

The Ministry of Education has not responded to our request for comment on the matter.

Also in question is an expenditure of Sh26.5 million which was paid to five schools whose existence was in doubt since registration certificates and other approval documents required under the State department of Basic learning disbursement guidelines of free day secondary education funds were not provided.

“In the circumstances, it is not possible to confirm the accuracy and validity of the reported subsidies of ShSh58,778,993,798 for the year ended 30 June, 2020,” the report states.

According to the report, auditors were not able to authenticate the payment of sh Sh86 million paid for rent spaces for various state department’s offices in the counties because valid lease agreements and approvals for the procurement of offices were not provided for audit verification.

The payments in respect of rentals of produced assets were totaling to Sh150,490,607.

Further, the State Department had pending bills totaling sh 91,853,036 as at June 30, 2020, with the Auditor accusing the management of failing to explain why the bills were not settled during the year when they occurred.

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“Failure to settle bills during the year which they relate distorts the financial statements and adversely affects the budgetary provisions for the subsequent year as they form the first charge,” she notes.

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