Nyanza region counties ‘worst in public finance’

KNA and Noven Owiti @PeopleDailyKe

Counties in Nyanza region are the worst performers in the annual audit of public finance expenditure, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) has said.

The body’s Public Policy and Research chief manager Fredrick Riaga said the six counties in the region have over the years attracted the worst opinion of the Auditor General Edward Ouko. Riaga, who was part of a top ICPAK delegation, led by chairman Julius Mwatu, who paid a courtesy call on Siaya Deputy Governor Dr James Okumbe, said the counties ought to do “something to move from that level to unqualified audit opinion”.

He challenged Kisii, Nyamira, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu and Siaya governors to hire qualified audit staff to ensure their expenditures meet the proper public finance management benchmarks, adding that unless this is done, their integrity will always be questioned.

“As ICPAK, we challenge the county leadership and the accountants to ensure that we move from the disclaimer, which is the worst of audit opinion to unqualified audit opinion,” said Riaga. He urged Siaya county government to strengthen its audit committee and accord it space to do its work without interference.

Mwatu warned on wastage of resources in counties saying it is disheartening to see the Auditor General report pinpoint waste of public resources in the counties in its annual report. He noted that the report, for instance, indicated misuse of funds through unwarranted spending on foreign trips and payments to non-existent entities was alarming.

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