The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is on the spot for paying Sh24,837,757 to ten officers at various missions abroad whose official tour of duty came to an end but did not report back to the Ministry headquarters.
Parliament says the ministry made an Sh9,140,000 additional payments irregularly to the ten, who continued to occupy rented houses in various missions.
The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, faulted the ministry for breaching the Foreign Service regulations.
“Accounting officers must at all times ensure that they provide the Auditor-General and any other office, where relevant, with any information it may require to fulfil its functions,” Mr Wandayi said.
The committee, which scrutinised former Auditor-General Edward Ouko’s report on examination of National Government books of account for the year to June 2017, blamed the law that allows ambassadors and heads of missions to be replaced and recalled by the President which allows the officers not to vacate a station before being replaced officially.
“Although the general rule is that officer’s report back to the headquarters upon expiry of their tour of duty there are exemptions to this rule that officer’s handling accountable documents may not leave a station before a replacement reports to the station and proper handing over is done,” the committee said.
The ministry, however, said the cases were treated as an extension of tour of duty.
“Justification for extension of tours of duty for each of the above officers has been availed for audit review,” Mr Macharia Kamau, the Principal Secretary in the ministry told the committee.