Counties

Laikipia governor orders forensic audit on unpaid bills

Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi addresses a press conference outside the Laikipia county assembly moments after the swearing of the MCAs on September 7, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG
Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi addresses a press conference outside the Laikipia county assembly moments after the swearing of the MCAs on September 7, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG 

Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi has ordered a forensic audit to establish the authenticity of pending bills his administration inherited from the former regime.

This is after it emerged that his administration inherited Sh 1.3 billion in unpaid bills.

“I was handed over a Sh 913 million pending bill when i assumed office, but further scrutiny has revealed the figure to be Sh1.3 billion,” said the county boss who spoke after meeting the County Public Service Board (CPSB) at the Nyahururu County offices.

He has at the same suspended the payment of all outstanding bills left by the former county government until the audit is carried out to verify their authenticity.

“For this reason I have suspended all the payments owed by the county administration to contractors and other agencies until a thorough audit is conducted,” he said. 

Governor Muriithi said that the county administration will only pay the authentic bills after ensuring that goods and services were delivered. 

He read the riot act to the County Public Service Board (CPSB) for delaying recruitment of chief officers and wondered if the delay to recruit new chief officers was connected to the Sh1.3 billion pending bills.  

The pending bills happened under the watch of the current chief officers who were hired by former governor Joshua Irungu’s leadership.

“The current chief officers’ who are the accounting officers in the county government were given contracts that run up to next year,” he noted. 

He said the CPSB has to be professional in its work in order to help the county build a professional public service. “Unfortunately we still have a long way to go, for the board to build confidence in us and whole of the county,” the governor said.

He disclosed that unlike other boards where members work part time, the Laikipia CPSB is a permanent one where members are in office all the time. 

“We therefore want the members of the board to act with speed in all processes that they are supposed to do”, he said.