Auditor unearths Sh362m wastage in Masinde Muliro University

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

A damning audit report has put Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology on the spot for irregular expenditure of funds amounting to Sh362 million in the year to June 2016.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko accuses the Kakamega-based institution of having entered into huge illegal contract variations, irregular procurement, failing to present cash books for audit and keeping cash unbanked and unaccounted for contrary to proper accounting procedures.

Mr Ouko, for example, says the management leased a university house irregularly as well as space for its Kakuma and Nairobi campuses.

“The cashbooks for six bank accounts as detailed… were not made available for audit review. Consequently, the authenticity and accuracy of the bank balances of Sh162,932,625 carried forward in the six bank accounts as at June 30, 2016 cannot be confirmed,” says Mr Ouko in the audit report.

The university’s Kaimosi unit (IGU) collected Sh4.6 million between March 2015 and June 2016 but spent 2.9 million at source without the authority or approvals as required.

The contract for construction of a multi-purpose hall, Mr Ouko said, was awarded to two contractors resulting in an expenditure of Sh107.4 million whose details of procurement, including advertisements, evaluation and award were not provided for audit.

The university is accused of illegally inflating by Sh89.3 million a contract awarded to M/s NK Brothers to construct a hostel for women students at a contract sum of Sh413.9 million.

Mr Ouko says the university explained that the variation was caused by interest on delayed payments of Sh27.1 million and extended preliminaries of Sh62.1 million.

“However, no prior authority for the variation was given as required by the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005,” says Mr Ouko.

On the irregular lease of the university house, Mr Ouko says the management irregularly entered  into a contract for rent with M/s Foam Mattress Limited, Eric Wafula Wanyonyi and Kyanzari Farmers Co. Limited for Tudfoam Plaza, Kakuma campus and Nairobi campus for a monthly rent of Sh216,000 and Sh559,293  respectively.

“However, the university did not make available for audit scrutiny the tender documents, evaluation minutes, notification of award, acceptance of offer and the signed lease agreement,” Mr Ouko says in a disclaimer opinion for the university books of accounts for the year to June 2016.

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

He says under the circumstances, it has not been possible to confirm that proper procurement procedures were followed in the identification and eventual award of the lease contracts to the firms.

Mr Ouko questions the failure by the university to maintain a fixed asset register, saying the accuracy, valuation and completeness of the balance of Sh1.18 billion reflected under the property, plant and equipment as at June 30, 2016 cannot be confirmed.