Queries as counties pay Sh12bn wages manually

Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman Martin Wambora. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

County governments processed Sh11.99 billion of wages and emoluments through manual systems other than the prescribed electronic payroll technically known as the Integrated Payroll Personnel Database (IPPD), exposing taxpayers to loss of cash, a new report shows.

The report by the Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o says a majority of the counties used manual systems to process payroll which is prone to abuse. The electronic payroll seeks to end the practice where corrupt officials claim salaries on behalf of “ghost employees” — workers who have died, retired or deserted their duties — by restricting pay allocation to those in the core electronic payroll.

“The manual payroll is prone to abuse and may lead to the loss of public funds due to a lack of proper controls,” said the report which captures the first nine months of the 2021/22 financial year.

During the period, Bomet County processed personnel emoluments amounting to Sh1.06 billion through the manual payroll attracting the spotlight from the Controller of Budget.

In Bungoma, personnel emoluments amounting to Sh57.39 million were paid through a manual payroll while in Busia perks paid through a manual payroll were Sh84.93 million.

Other counties that paid part of the emoluments manually were Elgeyo Marakwet Sh161.91 million, Embu (Sh101.49 million), Garissa (Sh746.10 million), Homa Bay (Sh495.19 million) and Isiolo (Sh21.6 million).

Others were Kajiado (Sh13.01 million), Kakamega (Sh317.36 million), Kericho (Sh343 million), Kiambu (Sh864.22 million), Kilifi (Sh290 million) and Kirinyaga (Sh141.77 million).

In 2014, a preliminary audit of the public service payroll revealed that Kenyan taxpayers were losing more than Sh1.8 billion annually in salary payments to ghost workers.

The report shows others are Kisumu (Sh401.27 million), Kitui (Sh364.29 million), Laikipia (Sh419.32 million), Machakos (Sh162.53 million), Makueni (Sh281.04 million), Mandera (Sh440 million), and Marsabit (Sh569.4 million).

Migori paid Sh116.28 million, Mombasa (Sh25.6 million), Nairobi (Sh55.75 million), Nakuru (Sh593.48 million) and Nandi (Sh156.43 million).

Narok paid Sh224.76 million, Nyandarua (Sh256.52 million), Nyeri (Sh319.98 million), Samburu (Sh255.17 million) and Siaya (Sh449.92 million).

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.