Baringo Assembly snip

Baringo County Assembly chambers. The Auditor General has questioned how MCA’s in the county were issued with car loans totaling to Ksh. 96 million (Photo: Daily Nation).

The County Assembly of Baringo issued car loans to its members (MCA’s) without following the due procedure. According to the Auditor General’s report the Assembly issued sh96 million car loans to 48 members who received sh2 million each on April 30 2014.

“However, information provided for audit review indicated that the loans were disbursed without considering the ability of the members to repay the loan and also various documents were not provided for audit review such as the vehicles valuation report and joint ownership log books,” the Auditor General reports.

The report further says that the Assembly did not show evidence of whether the fund (Car Loan Scheme) is being administered according to the law.

“The management should ensure that the provisions contained in the County Assembly Car Loan Scheme Fund Regulation 2014 are complied with and where loans have been disbursed without the laid down procedures appropriate action is taken against the persons involved in line with Government Financial Regulations and Procedures and Public Financing Act,” the report recommends.

But that is not all. The Assembly was unable to show evidence for its expenditure of more than sh20 million that it spent between June 30 2013 and July 1 2014.

This amount included sh2,025,298 which was used as motor vehicle running expenses and sh2,209,000 which was used for traveling and subsistence allowances for local travel.

“The payments were not supported with work tickets, fuel receipts and imprest warrants as required by Government Financial Regulations and Procedures. Also, the details of the expenditures were not recorded in the imprest register and accounted for on return from the journey, but were rather expensed contrary to the requirement of Government financial regulations and procedures,” the report says.

The report also questions whether the MCA’s actually traveled to the United States of America (USA), Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Colombia and Singapore in the months of July 2013, May 2014 and June 2014 trips in which they are said to have spent sh16,961, 971.

“Records provided for audit review were not supported by copies of clearance certificates and stamped passports to confirm that the members of the County Assembly indeed traveled abroad. Also, the training programmes while abroad and reports of programmes attended were not availed for audit verification and it was not clear whether the same evidence was subsequently tabled in the County Assembly as required by the standing orders,”

the Auditor General says while querying the trips.

Actually on local travel allowances the Assembly spent sh1,710,500 above its sh15 million budget on per diem and on foreign trips it spent sh785, 451 as at June 30 2014 above its sh26 million budget during the year.

Further the Auditor General questions the payment of sitting allowances to the MCA’s for attending a goat auction event.

“A review of the County Assembly records available indicated that the members on 20 December, 2013 were paid a total of sh207,300 as sitting allowances for attending Kimalel goat auction contrary to (the) regulation that sitting allowance are paid to Members of the County Assembly for Plenary and Committee Sittings only.”

Perhaps because of this, the Assembly spent an excess of sh501, 800 in sitting allowances.

The Auditor General recommends action against all persons who may have been involved in issuing of the funds against the law “unless prove is provided”. This includes stating that the MCA’s refund the funds that they may have received contrary to the legal requirements.