Sh438m secret account at Foreign Affairs: Ouko

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is on the spot over expenditure of Sh437.8 million used on an undisclosed campaign in the year to June 2017.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

IN SUMMARY

  • Auditor-General Edward Ouko says that Ifmis records indicate that a total expenditure of Sh437,776,982 was incurred on item 2211312—confidential expenditure on campaigns.
  • It is not clear whether the millions were spent on the then Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed’s bid for the chairperson of the African Union Commission or the 2017 General Election.
  • Ms Mohamed, now Education Cabinet Secretary, lost her bid to be the continent’s top diplomat to her Chad counterpart Moussa Faki Mahamat in a vote that took seven rounds to conclude.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is on the spot over expenditure of Sh437.8 million used on an undisclosed campaign in the year to June 2017.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko says that Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) records indicate that a total expenditure of Sh437,776,982 was incurred on item 2211312—confidential expenditure on campaigns.

It is not clear whether the millions were spent on the then Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed’s bid for the chairperson of the African Union Commission or the 2017 General Election.

Ms Mohamed, now Education Cabinet Secretary, lost her bid to be the continent’s top diplomat to her Chad counterpart Moussa Faki Mahamat in a vote that took seven rounds to conclude.

But a certificate issued by the Cabinet secretary responsible for the ministry, supporting schedules, and other documents instead reflect confidential expenditure totalling Sh385,681,683 for the year.

“The resulting expenditure difference of Sh52,095,299 has not been fully accounted for or satisfactorily explained by the ministry,” Mr Ouko said in a qualified audit opinion for the ministry’s financial statements for the year to June 2017.

Mr Ouko said that regulation 101(5) of the Public Finance Management (National Government) Regulations 2015 requires the Cabinet secretary responsible for the ministry to issue a certificate on use of confidential expenditure.

The report dated August 7, 2018 and tabled in Parliament by Leader of Majority Aden Duale shows that the schedules for bank payments in respect of confidential expenditure reflect some payments totalling Sh50 million through a local bank out of which Sh30 million is claimed to have been transferred to another government agency.

“However, the financial statements of that agency for the year ended June 30, 2017 do not reflect any transfers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Mr Ouko said.

He said the remaining amount of Sh20 million is indicated in documents made available for audit as having been paid to the Principal Secretary for the purposes of special activity, but is not supported by relevant documentation.

READ: Sh2.7bn secret Uhuru, Ruto budget revealed

Consequently, Mr Ouko said the propriety of the total expenditure of Sh50 million cannot be confirmed.

Current Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma was the Principal Secretary in the ministry in the year under review.

Mr Ouko also questioned the purchase of tonners at Sh27,368,000 under the confidential expenditure item.

They were overpriced by Sh9,857,800.

In addition, “Section 54(2) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 requires that standard goods, services and work with known market prices be procured at the prevailing market prices.

“However, some tonners purchased at a total cost of Sh27,368,800 under the confidential expenditure item were overprices by Sh9,857,800 over and above their prevailing market prices,” Mr Ouko said
He said no satisfactory explanation had been provided for the anomaly.

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