Ministry Splashes Ksh 247M on Airtime, Air Travel

  • An undated image of Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes during a past address.
    An undated image of Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes during a past address.
  • The Ministry of Mining is on the spot over irregular expenditures in the financial year leading up to 2019.

    Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in a report revealed that the ministry spent Ksh 247 million on the purchase of air tickets, airtime and settlement of allowances.

    The money she says was diverted from funds designated for development projects within the ministry.

    Her report found that the funds were intended for construction and refurbishment of buildings, purchase of vehicles and office equipment.

    Auditor General Nancy Gathungu
    Auditor General Nancy Gathungu at a public event in Nairobi in 2019

    "However, the supporting schedules provided for audit indicated that the bulk of the payment reported under the acquisition of assets related to purchasing of air tickets, payment of allowances and imprest surrenders," Gathungu stated.

    The Auditor-General stated that it was yet to be ascertained if the ministry acted in accordance with Section 43 of the Public Finance Management Act 2012 and Section 43 (b) of the Public Finance Management Regulations 2015. The act prohibits the reallocation of funds deployed for capital expenditure.

    The regulations provide that an accounting officer shall ensure that public funds entrusted to their care are properly safeguarded and are applied for purposes only which they were intended and approved by the National Assembly.

    "Under the circumstances, the accuracy of the acquisition of assets expenditure of Ksh247,054,005 and the fixed assets balance of Ksh464,024,300 as at June 2019, reflected under annex 3 summary of fixed assets register, could not be confirmed," Gathungu stated.

    She also pointed out that the Ministry's head office refurbishment project had stalled despite the State Departement paying out Ksh 20 million.

    Gathungu in her report indicated that the Ministry had allocated Ksh 45.66 million in the 2018-2019 fiscal year for routine maintenance and other departmental projects.

    "The amount includes Ksh 13,875,378 paid to contractors and subcontractors under undertaking refurbishment of works at the ministry head office Madini house.

    "The 24 month period refurbishment works contract was signed in July 2017 at a contract sum of Ksh 46,100,888," Gathungu stated.

    In her report, the Auditor General stated that the projects by the ministry appeared to stall as there was no indication of contractors at the site.

    Auditor General Nancy Gathungu.
    Auditor General Nancy Gathungu.