Private firms and State agencies surrendered Sh1 billion in unclaimed assets in the three months to October, new data shows, as they raced to beat a deadline that lapses today fearing sanctions.
The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority(Ufaa) chief executive John Mwangi said the submissions raised the value of unclaimed money in its custody to Sh17 billion by yesterday with more cash expected before the end of today.
The agency had also completed audit reviews for 80 companies and issued some of them with notices of sanctions for non-compliance, he added.
“The notices expire in 14 days after which offending firms will be expected to comply forthwith by surrendering the monies with accompanying reports as well as pay the penalties. For companies facing cashflow challenges, we have an obligation to listen and come up with an agreeable repayment plan,” he said.
Ufaa latest data shows unclaimed assets rose by 23 percent in 2019 or Sh3 billion to Sh16 billion, most in uncollected salaries, pension dues, matured policies, bank deposits and royalties.
The law allows Ufaa to charge any entity that fails to surrender unclaimed assets a penalty of 25 percent of the assets held.
In addition, Ufaa also charges a penalty of between Sh7,000 and Sh50,000 for each day that the assets stayed before being submitted.
A new report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu shows Kenya Power is among State corporations holding unclaimed money illegally.
The power utility risks a Sh1.765 billion penalty for not surrendering unclaimed assets that include dividends and stale cheques as required by the law.
The Auditor-General disclosed that the utility firm was at the end of June last year still holding Sh922 million in its books against the requirements of Unclaimed Financial Assets Act, 2011.