Economy & Politics

Auditor queries KNH’s Sh500m spend on perks

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) irregularly spent Sh500.2 million to pay overtime and medical allowances to staff in the year to June 2016.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko has revealed anomalies in the staff costs totalling Sh7.7 billion in his latest audit of the largest referral hospital in East and Central Africa.

The hospital has 4,754 staff comprising 200 doctors, 25 dentists, 14 pharmacists, 1,718 nurses, 463 administrative staff and 586 paramedics and others.

“The law/regulation used to pay locum/overtime of Sh422.1 million and staff medical out-patient allowance of Sh78.1 million included in the employee cost was not presented for audit review,” said Mr Ouko.

He said Sh238,356,841 in locum and unexplained overtime of Sh183,783,286 paid to hospital’s doctors and nurses amounted to double payments as overtime services were paid or catered for under extraneous allowances.

Mr Ouko questioned the payment of medical out-patient allowance of Sh78.1 million which he said amounted to double payment as the hospital has also incurred staff medical in/out-patient expenses of Sh229.4 million.

“In the circumstances, it has not been possible to ascertain the propriety of the expenditure totalling Sh500,207,732 on locum/overtime and medical allowance and whether the expenditure of Sh7,698,143,000 in the statement of financial performance for the year ended June 30, 2016 is fairly stated,” said Mr Ouko in a report tabled in Parliament by Leader of Majority Aden Duale.

He also queried the rationale behind the hospital’s decision to provide meal allowances for security officers.

“The statement of financial performance under the administrative and general expenses reflects security investigation expenses totalling Sh6.7 million in respect of meal allowances paid to the hospital’s security officers for the  year ended June 30, 2016.

“However, the regulations that support the payments were not made available for audit review.

“No explanation has been provided for paying security officers meal allowances for working in their duty stations,” said Mr Ouko.

The auditor said the KNH had two doctors who had attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 but were still in service.

The auditor also brought up the issue of composition of the hospital’s board of directors saying one community constitutes 36 per cent contrary to the National Cohesion and Integration Act, 2008.

The law stipulates that no single ethnic community should constitute more than 33 per cent of the board members of a national institution.