3 Tricks Govt Officials Use to Loot Funds - Controller of Budget

File photo of Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang'o during a past media interview
A photo of Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang'o.

The Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o on Tuesday, May 30, revealed three tricks’ politicians and other government officials use to steal from the taxpayer.

Nyakang’o detailed that there was a deliberate and concerted effort by politicians to embezzle public coffers.

She also indicated that her office had set out guidelines and framework to avert that but government officials consistently flouted the set rules.

The CoB noted that one of the most commonly used tricks to steal public funds was through benchmarking trips organised by politicians.

Margaret Nyakang'o during her swearing in as CoB on Wednesday, December 4 2019
Margaret Nyakang'o during her swearing-in as CoB on Wednesday, December 4 2019.
Judiciary of Kenya

“We have seen a lot of foreign travel which is wasteful. Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) go in large groups to foreign countries with no accountability.

“When they come back, they do not release any reports on what they learnt from where they went,” she stated.

Nyakang’o further faulted parliamentarians and other politicians for misusing the car fund reimbursement scheme.

“We have seen distortion of car reimbursement forms. You find someone bringing a 13-year-old car and claim they paid Ksh 4 million,” 

“Looking at the way requisitions are made you can see a deliberate effort to defraud public funds,” she exposed how the legislators were using loopholes to scheme the system.

Finally, the CoB faulted county and national government officials for launching ghost projects.

“I have seen ghost projects and ghost payees as I carry out my mandate as the Controller of Budget,” she stated.

On what her office had done to seal the aforementioned loopholes, she stated, “We have drawn up templates that follow the law to guide those who are requisitioning the funds.”

Nyakang’o explained that the templates ensure that funds are asked in a prescribed format that is in line with the Public Finance Management Act and Regulations.

“We have picked all the respective laws and put them in the form of a template. Despite doing all that, it is a fight every single day to get our clients to use the templates,” she lamented. 

The revelation came a month after David Ndii, the President’s Economic Advisory Council chairperson, complained of the wasteful nature of government.

“The government is very wasteful. There is no single day that I am not irritated by not just how wasteful it is, but also how deliberate and unbothered people [in the government] are in wasting the funds,” Ndii remarked on Monday, April 10. 

President's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) chairperson David Ndii
President's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) chairperson David Ndii
David Ndii
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