Economy

Sh31m board perks put water agency on spot

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Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Summary

  • The Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA) spent over Sh31milion on allowances for board meetings, an audit report by the Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu shows.
  • The agency paid board members to attend 78 meetings in 2019—way above the permissible four annually, the report adds.
  • The Auditor-General states that there was no justification for high number of meetings even as the State Corporation Act caps the number of board meetings at four per year spread quarterly.

The Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA) spent over Sh31milion on allowances for board meetings, an audit report by the Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu shows.

The agency paid board members to attend 78 meetings in 2019—way above the permissible four annually, the report adds.

The Auditor-General states that there was no justification for high number of meetings even as the State Corporation Act caps the number of board meetings at four per year spread quarterly.

Ms Gathungu has also pointed out that despite holding the 78 meetings, the board did not have an annual work plan, a move that is contrary to the Mwongozo code of governance that governs operations of state corporations.

In the prevailing circumstances, Ms Gathungu concludes in her report that the expenditure of Sh31,434,918 incurred on the board expenses could not be confirmed.

KWTA is under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry established in 2012 with a mission to coordinate and oversee the protection, rehabilitation, conservation, and sustainable management of water towers.

Ms Gathungu has also raised the flag over the inefficiency of the fund’s management to implement Sh50 million that it was given under the Water Towers Conservation Fund.

According to the report, a capital account was opened for the fund at the Central Bank of Kenya with a deposit of Sh50 million to fund its initial activities.

However, the fund has remained idle in the CBK account as it is yet to be implemented by the management.

“No satisfactory explanation was provided by the management for the failure to operationalise the fund so that it may achieve its purpose. In the circumstance, the agency may have breached the law,” reads the report.