- Daily Nation
The Ministry of Health will pay ksh34 billion in legal fees and court awards to three contractors after irregular termination of their contracts and delayed payment for services offered.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on October 1, it was revealed by Health Principal Secretary, Susan Mochache, that the awards accrued since 1992 when the services from three contractors were sought.
The PS was answering questions that arose from an audit report that revealed how contracts cancelled by the Ministry of Health more than 25 years ago, left the government with pending bills.A file image of the Senate committee in parliament in a past proceeding.File
The audit report also revealed that the Ministry had advertised 361 vacancies but employed 1,009 staff for 28 departments, resulting in excess employment of 648 staff.
During the meeting, Mochache noted that following advice from the Attorney General, the ministry would not appeal but instead pay the amount.
“The Attorney General advised that there are limited judicial options for the resolution of the matter and further delay in setting the matter would result in interest accrual and expose the government to greater loss of public funds,” Mochache noted.
Mochache added that the ministry was ready to settle the bills but due to budgetary constraints, there was a delay in the settlement of the debt.
The three companies who are set to receive the payments include Equip Agencies limited, which had its ksh1.7 billion claim increase to over ksh80 billion before it was scaled down through a court process, Vulkan Limited from ksh57 million claim to ksh3.1 billion and United Medical Suppliers from ksh196.89 million to ksh17.64 billion.
This revelation shocked the parliament committee, who sought to understand how the ministry found themselves in such a situation.
“These figures are mind boggling. How was this possible? This is a very disturbing scenario,” Committee chair, Opiyo Wandayi stated.
Wandayi was amused by how the government collects taxes to pay court awards that do not help in the growth of the economy.
“How the government goes about collecting taxes to pay court awards that don’t contribute to the GDP is a sad reality,” Wandayi noted.Health Principal Secretary (PS) Susan Mochache while speaking on March 11, said that 1,184 mother-to-child HIV transmission cases were recorded in NyanzaFile
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