Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Suppliers and contractors hired by county governments risk losing billions of shillings after Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo and Auditor General Edward Ouko failed to ascertain the number of pending bills accumulated by devolved units.
While Odhiambo puts counties debts at Sh108 billion, the office of the Auditor General indicates in its special audit report that as of June 30, 2018, pending bills were Sh88 billion.
Report not shared
Out of the amount, Ouko found that only Sh51 billion were eligible bills while in excess of Sh37 billion were either fake or do not meet the threshold for payment.
Last week, governors who appeared before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC) disowned the figures in Ouko’s report claiming their non-involvement.
Governors Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta) and Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado) alleged Ouko’s report was not a true reflection of their accrued pending bills as it had omitted key components.
Njuki claimed he had not seen the Auditor’s special audit report on devolved units pending bills before his appearance before the committee.
Njuki told senators that although his administration commissioned an audit of the pending bills from the previous regime, Ouko’s report was not shared with his office.
“I am seeing this report for the first time. We commissioned a committee to audit all pending bills from the previous government which was at Sh1.1 billion when I assumed office,” he said.
But appearing before Senator Moses Kajwang’-led committee yesterday, Ouko and Odhiambo discounted county bosses claims saying the report and figures therein were shared with them, Treasury and Parliament.
Ouko refuted claims his office had been releasing reports with contradictory figures to the devolved units.