Audit reveals secret transfer of Sh19m from ministry to NYS boss

Auditor General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Auditor General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Auditor-General Edward Ouko flagged a secret transfer of Sh18.7 million from the Devolution ministry to the Director- General of the National Youth Service (NYS), putting the two offices under fresh scrutiny in a scandal that saw taxpayers lose Sh1.9 billion in 2015.

Mr Ouko in an audit of the Devolution and Planning ministry reveals a number of undisclosed cash transfers of millions of shillings to the head of the NYS.

The cash was paid in three tranches of Sh10.4 million, Sh7.4 million and Sh835,200 without being captured in the financial statements. The Auditor-General says the undisclosed transfers were triggered by a search of bank records.

This comes amid an ongoing criminal suit against top officials at the ministry and the youth service over loss of the Sh1.9 billion through fictitious claims in a scandal that claimed the jobs of former NYS director -general Nelson Githinji, and the previous chair of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Philip Kinisu.

The theft was aided by collusion between top officials at the NYS and Devolution ministry, which is the parent ministry of the youth service.

“There were numerous cash transfers during the year under review from the State Department for planning to Director General National Youth Service as reflected in the bank reconciliation statements,” Mr Ouko sad in the Devolution ministry’s audit for the year to June.

“However the transactions originated and paid for in respect of these transfers have not been disclosed in the financial statements,” added the Auditor-General while issuing a disclaimer opinion on the ministry’s audit.

The disclaimer opinion means an auditor could not offer his views on the accounts because there is no sufficient evidence and data to issue an accurate report.

Mr Ouko did not reveal whether the Sh18.7 million transferred to the NYS director- general happened during the tenure of Mr Githinji or the current head of the service, Richard Ndubai.