The Senate County Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday invited the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the Turkana County Assembly for authorising transactions outside the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).
In a statement, the Senate revealed that the committee has ordered the County Assembly leadership to submit reconciliation statements for three bank accounts to the Office of the Auditor General for review to authenticate that indeed, the money was not stolen.
Senate's dispatch pointed out that the Assembly operates and maintains four bank accounts which as of June 30, 2021, held deposits totaling Ksh32 million.
The legislators want to establish why, the documents submitted by the County Assembly for reconciliation show that only Ksh250 of the Sh32 million in the four bank accounts was reconciled in the IFMIS.
According to the legislators, the County Assembly did not present supporting documents to the financial statements for reconciliation which, the senators pointed out is contrary to the guidelines issued by the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.
“You must provide IFMIS reconciliation of the three bank accounts to the Auditor General within the 7 days,” Senator Moses Kajwang, the Committee Chairperson directed.
Further, documents show that the Assembly borrowed Ksh73 million from the Car Loan and Mortgage Funds Scheme.
According to the Assembly, the borrowings were due to a delay of exchequer releases that affected the operations of the institution.
However, Senators pointed out the borrowed funds were not returned owing to budget constraints.
“Most of the payments for DSA were done outside IFMIS since the funds were obtained from the Fund Account,” the Senate said in the statement.
The Committee concluded that the borrowing was illegal as Public Finance Management laws prohibit finance managers from making such withdrawals.
As such, the committee questioned the circumstances under which the fund manager withdrew large sums of money and what the funds were used for.
During the meeting it emerged that the Assembly has a key challenge in terms of human resource capacity which has compromised the public finance management.
“There are variances between the financial statements and IFMIS balances, unreconciled and unsupported bank balances, unsupported assets, irregular use of deposits and retentions of monies,” the Senate further observed.
The lawmakers observed that the County Assembly failed to comply with the law governing imprest management due to long outstanding imprests, lack of an effective internal control audit unit, and the absence of an Independent Internal Audit Function.
Additionally, they noted non-compliance with the law on fiscal responsibility concerning the wage bill, as well as a lack of a risk management policy and fixed assets tagging.
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