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Counties

Red flag as only six of 144 Vihiga finance staff skilled

Vihiga County
Vihiga County residents at Luanda town. The administration has not been fully banking revenue. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The anti-graft agency has raised alarm over unqualified finance staff in Vihiga County after its corruption risk assessment established that only six of the 144 treasury staff are qualified accountants.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) made the revelation in its corruption risk assessment report dated August 2019.

The commission now wants its recommendations acted upon within one month and the progress reported back, indicating corrective measures that have been undertaken.

"It was noted that out of the 144 staff in the Finance and Economic Planning Department, only six were qualified accountants within the definition provided in the Accountant Act, 2008," EACC says.

The red flag came after it emerged that the county's administration was not fully banking collected revenue.

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The EACC wants Governor Wilber Ottichilo and his accounting officers to ensure that the staff "possess requisite qualifications" that are necessary to effectively discharge responsibilities.

"It may become difficult to ensure that accurate books of accounts are maintained and there is proper accountability for the use of county executive resources," EACC says.

Speaking when she led a team of EACC officers to hand the report to Mr Ottichilo, vice chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit said the commission is focused on prevention of corruption to minimise cases where suspects are hounded to court, thus tuning the fight against the vice into a costly affair.

She said EACC has been handling high profile corruption cases to deter the vice, but that major scandals keep emerging.

EACC has prepared corruption risk assessment reports for most counties and issued recommendations, said Ms Lepuchirit.

Mr Ottichilo said his administration was committed to fighting and eradicating corruption.

"I am putting up an efficient governance systems. I thank EACC for their candid exposure of our weaknesses," said Mr Ottichilo.

He went on: "When we took over, we faced a lot of challenges as there were no proper systems in place. Last year was my most difficult year as a politician and manager. We had to work overtime to put systems in place."

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