Ouko queries KRA on leave order, spending

Details emerge board extended Njiraini term by one year, tax man withholding information

Auditor General Edward Ouko has accused Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) commissioner general John Njiraini of being in office illegally.

This comes as Ouko raised queries over the authority’s failure to account for expenditure amounting to Sh3.7 billion.

In a report tabled in the National Assembly, Ouko claimed Njiraini was expected to proceed on terminal leave from September 4, 2017, pending his retirement in accordance with government circular of November 23, 2010, but has so far not done so.

The auditor general also claimed KRA board has up to date not asked Njiraini to proceed on terminal leave as is required in law

Although he did not link any financial irregularities to his continued stay in office, he claimed Njiraini’s term was expected to end on March 4 after his tenure was renewed for a further three years beginning March 4, 2015.

“The board recommended that the commissioner general proceed on terminal leave beginning September 4, 2017, pending his retirement in accordance with the government circular dated November 23, 2010. A requirement which has not been acted on to date,” read the report.

The queries by Ouko came even as it is understood that KRA board, this year extended Njiraini’s term by one year after his term which had been extended for three years to March 4 this year came to an end.

The extension of Njiraini’s term came after an attempt by the then board chaired by Edward Sambili to have Njiraini proceed on leave was overturned by President Uhuru Kenyatta in May after he sacked five of its members including Evans Kakai, Constance Kandie, Rashid Ali and Abdi Duale, who was named chairman of the Kenya Leather Development Council through a special gazette notice.

           Disclose assets

On the Sh3.7 billion expenditure, Ouko says the money includes Sh1.6 billion for the one-stop border post (OSBP) works in various parts of the country including Busia, Malaba, Isebania, Taveta, Namanga and Moyale that were completed and included in the final land and building revaluation report.

In the report, Ouko also accused KRA of failing to disclose other expenditures amounting to millions of shillings for verification.

In particular, he raised concerns over the institution’s move to omit Sh45.9 million from its financial income statement in standards levy, concession fees, insurance deduction commission and merchant superintendent shipping levy (MSSL) as only Sh1.8 billion was declared to the auditors.

The omitted income came from Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), various insurance companies and Kenya Maritime Authority.

Ouko has also queried KRA over its failure to disclose Sh82.1 million in assets received as donations from various development partners including three scanners donated by the China government in 2015 and five vehicles from Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA)

He has also raised concern over how Delloitte and Touche was contracted to offer payroll services, claiming the contract is illegal as the services were single sourced, the authority did not prove they called for expression of interest and the need assessment was not clearly identified.

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