The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is seeking the Treasury’s approval to write off Sh4.4 million that was unaccounted for by former District Commissioners involved in a national census 12 years ago.
The amount was paid out as imprest to District Commissioners as the 2009 census committees were their respective jurisdictions.
The position has since become defunct ad replaced by County Commissioners.
The National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee(PIC) questioned why the KNBS management failed to recover the unaccounted for cash from payrolls of the then State officers.
The Public Finance Management Act requires a holder of imprest to surrender them within seven days of return from the field activity.
Failure to surrender the cash invites penalties including payroll deductions and interest at the prevailing Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
KNBS director-general, Macdonald Obudho told MPs that he had secured the approval of the agency’s board to write off the imprests after it failed to recover the amount.
“The Sh4.4 million relates to imprest that was advanced to district commissioners during the 2009 census exercise. This has remained outstanding and proven uneconomical to recover,” he told the committee.
He told the committee chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir that all efforts by KNBS to recover the money have been fruitless.
“The KNBS has been following up on this matter but all efforts to sort it out have failed. We wrote to the Inspector of State Corporations (ISC) in 2019 where the director general requested the intervention to recover 4.48 million,” he said.
He said another letter was written to the then Treasury Principal Secretary for Planning in 2017 to intervene in the recovery of the funds.
“Despite the efforts, when we realised it gets long to recover funds, we sought the board approval to write off. The board gave approval to write off,” Mr Obudho said.
He said the Treasury is yet to grant the bureau the authority to write off the money from the books of accounts.