Ouko queries Sh1.3bn telcos poll pay

IEBC presidential polls telcos
Election officials pore over the results for the presidential poll at a tallying centre on the night of October 26, 2017. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

The Auditor-General has questioned the Sh1.3 billion paid to Airtel, Telkom Kenya and Safaricom #ticker:SCOM for transmitting election results during last year’s poll, saying taxpayers did not get value for money.

Mr Ouko said late delivery, and in some instances non-provision of services as well as purchases of excess goods, led to losses exceeding half-a billion shillings.

The audit reveals the three firms were paid Sh1.04 billion for the August 8 General Election and Sh297.6 billion during the repeat presidential poll on October 26.

“However, audit has revealed that out of the total Sh1, 345,515,190 for purchase of goods and services relating to results transmission, an amount of Sh555,424,638 was not effectively utilised,” Mr Ouko said in an audit report of the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission for the year to June 2018.

The report, tabled in Parliament by Leader of Majority Aden Duale shows that the commission purchased excess data bundles, mismanaged Thuraya Modems and SIM Cards loaded with data.

Safaricom’s network was deployed in 22 counties, Airtel’s in 14 while Telkom’s was in 11 during the August 8 poll.

Transmitting results

Airtel and Telkom were dropped from transmitting poll results during the repeat presidential polls in favour of Safaricom.

Mr Ouko said 149,640.5 gigabytes (GB) of data bundle valued at Sh127.6 million were procured from the three service providers but analysis of the actual SIM cards’ data usage revealed that 605.3 GB valued at Sh515,269 were utilised.

This led to wastage of unutilised 149,035 GB of data bundle valued at Sh127.1 million that expired.

Mr Ouko further questioned the purchase of Sh1.08 billion Thuraya IP+SIM loaded with unlimited bundles for five days, arguing that some of the goods were delivered after the elections.

He said examination of records indicate that 553 Thuraya Modems and SIM cards loaded with data were delivered on August 24, 2017, but records maintained at the stores show that these goods were received on October 5, 2017 and January 17, 2018 respectively — which was past the election day.