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Economy

Auditor-General’s rent to cost taxpayers Sh228m

National Treasury
The National Treasury building in Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

Taxpayers will continue footing the rent bill for the office of Auditor-General after the Treasury failed to allocate money for the construction of the Kenya National Audit Office headquarters in the financial year starting July 1.

The Treasury has for the second year in a row failed to provide a budgetary allocation to the office of Auditor-General to construct its headquarters at Bishops Road in Nairobi.

The Treasury budget data shows the office of Auditor-General has been allocated Sh228 million under recurrent expenditure in rent for the financial year starting July 1, 2020.

The office has a development budget of Sh10 million but no cent of it is meant for the development of the headquarters and some regional offices in the next two financial years.

There are no projected budget estimates in the year 2022/23, meaning that the construction of the head offices both at the headquarters and in regional hubs will delay further.

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The Auditor-General currently rents office space at Anniversary Building, which also hosts the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission offices.

The Treasury has also denied the Auditor-General money to build office blocks in Kakamega and Mombasa despite the initial allocation of Sh10 million and Sh60 million respectively.

The money was not released in the current financial year even though it was factored in the budget.

Only the construction of Eldoret and Embu office blocks have been funded in the next financial year.

Eldoret will get Sh18. 9 million in 2021/22 financial year and is projected to receive a further Sh93.3 million in 2022/23. The Treasury had allocated Embu office block Sh74 million but the block cost taxpayers Sh146.7 million in the current financial year.

The Treasury has allocated the office of Auditor General Sh49.3 million for construction of the Embu office block in the year starting July 1.

The office of Auditor-General has established regional hubs in a bid to devolve its audit function to enhance accountability in the use of public resources.

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