KBC on the spot over Sh90 million projects

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

State broadcaster KBC is on the spot for failing to explain Sh90 million expenditure on six digital broadcasting sites that were left incomplete.
Auditor-General Edward Ouko says in a fresh report tabled in Parliament that the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) did not provide evidence to show that primary infrastructure was put in place in six Digital Terrestrial Television Coverage Sites out of 10 availed for audit verification.
The project was meant for the roll-out of the digital migration of TV signals from analogue.

“In the circumstances, it has not been possible to confirm the propriety of expenditure totalling Sh89,615,876 for the primary infrastructure in the year ended June 30, 2016,” Mr Ouko says in his report on the financial statements of the Digital Terrestrial Television Coverage Roll-out project.

Mr Ouko says examination of the project contract agreement indicates that six out of the initial 10 sites identified in 2015 for project implementation were disqualified in March 2016 by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) because they were either near to existing or planned airports/airstrips.

As a result the sites were relocated to new sites, Mr Ouko says in the report tabled in the National Assembly by Leader of Majority Aden Duale.

The KBC project management was required to implement the primary infrastructure on the 10 identified sites at a cost of Sh89,615,876, equivalent to Euros 822,144.

The primary infrastructure included acquisition of land, construction of roads, design and installation of electrical power supply and acquisition and installation of standby power generators on the sites.

KBC was also required to undertake design, construction and equipping of amenities, landscaping of the sites, remodelling and improvement of existing structures on the sites to suit Terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-T2) system installation requirements, design and construction of warehouses and hire security services for the ten sites.

Mr Ouko says the systems status report on the primary infrastructure revealed that only four out of the 10 sites had the primary infrastructure implemented.

As at September 2, 2016, Hola, Kitui, Kwale, Lamu, Lodwar and Marsabit sites had no land, stone wall fence, generator shed, warehouse, amenities, generator and security.

Only Maralal, Nyadundo in Nyandarua, Siaya and Wajir had the stated infrastructure in place. The auditor notes that the contract document required the said primary infrastructure works needed to be done before the assets for the Digital Terrestrial Television were delivered.