Royal Media Services has been put on the spot by the Auditor General’s Report on the Siaya County Executive for supplying furniture yet it is a media organization. In the report for the financial year 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, the Auditor states that
It was also not clear how M/s. Royal Media Services who are in the mass communication sector could be paid a sum of sh2,320,000 vide payment voucher number 1310 of 18/02/014 to supply furniture. In the circumstances the propriety and occurrence of this expenditure could not be ascertained.
Royal Media Services (RMS) is an umbrella of fourteen radio stations and Citizen TV that cover different groups of the diverse Kenyan communities; two broadcasting in national languages while the rest are vernacular. Some of the radio stations include Radio Citizen, Inooro, Ramogi, Mulembe, Sulwe, Musyi, Muuga, Chamgei, Egesa, Wimwaro, Bahari FM, and Hot 96 among others.
The company has come out to distance itself from what it calls “false and misleading information” by the Auditor General. Royal Media further argues that
whereas it is true the quoted amounts were paid to the company, the payment was not for supply of furniture as claimed by the Auditors report. The correct position is that the payment was for media services for an event to unveil tractors by the Siaya County Governor. Royal Media Services Limited is not and has never been engaged in the business of selling furniture.
The report alleged that on February 18, last year, Royal Media Services received from the Siaya County Executive sh2,320,000 being payment for supply of furniture.
While Royal Media in their press statement state that the onus is on the Auditor General to correct the anomaly, perhaps it lays with the Siaya County Executive. This is because one of the recommendations on this issue is
All accounting records should be kept and maintained as required by section 149 (b) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.
It is possible that Royal Media Services did not procure furniture for Siaya County but the accounting records availed to the Auditor General stated otherwise. In addition, the sub-title for the section is called “Missing Payment Vouchers and Unsupported Payments.” In the section the Auditor further says
an examination of the County Government vote book revealed that payment vouchers for the expenditure of sh8,158,143 for the refurbishment of Non- residential buildings and purchase of furniture and fittings were not produced for audit verification.
The same section paints a picture of lack of records to support payments. It adds
Members of the County Assembly and staff were paid sh1,900,000 but no supporting payment vouchers were produced for audit review. In addition, expenditure for County executive (including the Governor tours to meet the people) totaling sh2,863,000 was not supported by relevant supporting documents e.g. cash sale receipts, invoices etc.
Royal media should direct their concerns to Siaya County Executive to furnish the Auditor General with the correct information for them to be cleared otherwise they are still indicted for supplying furniture to Siaya County.