Sh4.3b drought cash spending unexplained

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) is on the spot over failure to account for billions of shillings it received to mitigate drought in the country.

In his report for the year ending June 2017, Auditor General Edward Ouko said his office could not ascertain the accuracy of Sh4.3 billion given to the authority. 

In the Sh4 billion is Sh2.3 billion that was given by Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) for distribution to affected persons.

However, Ouko said he could not confirm the beneficiaries of the money, the mode used to identify the beneficiaries and the rates used for the payments.

“In addition, the Sh2.3 billion HSNP expenditure that comprised payments to various beneficiaries did not have a documented basis on how the beneficiaries were identified and the rates used for paying them. In the circumstance, the validity of the expense cannot be confirmed,” read the report in part.

In regard to the Sh2 billion balance that the authority was given on behalf of the National Drought Emergency Fund (NDEF), Ouko said his office could not verify how the money was spent.

He said the management of the fund is in breach of the law as maintenance and operations of the fund are being done in line with the relevant provisions of the National Management Drought Act, 2016 as there is no separate cashbook and other books of account in respect to the fund.

“The fund is supposed to be independent, managed and operated by NDMA chief executive, who is supposed to prepare and present financial statements of the fund to the auditor general every financial year. However no financial statements of the funds have been prepared and submitted for audit,” read the report.

In the report tabled in the National Assembly by Leader of Majority Aden Duale, NDMA is also on the spot over other expenditures including expenses on drought contingencies fund,  unutilised balances from counties fund, unsupported expenditures and expenses on drought contingencies fund.

On drought contingencies fund expenditure, Ouko said Sh719.1 million that was spent on procurement activities could not be accounted for as it is not supported by necessary documentation.

He said Sh435.9 million from the fund could not be confirmed as the basis for requisition of disbursement by the various county officers has not been supported by any documentation.

In regards to unutilised balances from counties, Ouko said he could not ascertain the accuracy and completeness of the said money as there are no documentary evidences and confirmations from respective county offices of the amounts held at the end of any financial year.

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