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Privatisation boss risks surcharge for MPs’ payments

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

The Privatisation Commission irregularly paid some MPs Sh5.02 million in allowances to attend a conference held in Kisumu in January 2018, according to the latest report of the Auditor-General.

The audit report for the year ending June 30, 2018 said the payment violated a 2015 presidential executive order that requires daily subsistence and other allowances for MPs invited for or involved in the activities of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) be fully catered for by Parliament, their employer.

“Although the commission has indicated that the above payment was made after consultation with the Clerk of the National Assembly, the payment to Members of Parliament by the commission was in breach of the circular,” Auditor-General Edward Ouko says in the report currently before the Public Accounts (PAC).

The watchdog committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi is expected to interrogate the report and file its recommendations to the House for adoption.

The presidential circular gave instructions that all the accounting and chief executive officers of State corporations should be held accountable in the event that the directive is violated.

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This means that the Privatisation Commission's CEO will likely be surcharged for violating the directive as well as the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act by irregularly committing public funds for a function not provided for in the agency's budget.

Mr Ouko also faulted the members of the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) for irregularly overpaying themselves and commission employees Sh1.39 million in airtime allowances.

A review of the payroll, according to Mr Ouko, revealed that commissioners and the chief executive were each paid Sh29,000 per month, which is double what the employees of security firms in the country take home every month in salaries. The payment is in contravention of a gazette notice that requires that State officers in full-time constitutional commissions such as the CRA and independent offices.

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