|Posted on December 26, 2016 at 6:55 PM|
BY JAMES MBAKA,@onchirimbaka
An explosive Auditor General report has questioned the construction of the 37,000-sitter Bomet IAAF Stadium without a title deed.
Edward Ouko's 2014/15 financial year report also raises concern that the cost of the project, initially estimated as Sh221,293,760, could shoot up.
This is because the contractor had already been paid a total of Sh196,075,277 upon completion of 50 per cent of the work as at December 2015.
The report observes that there is doubt on whether the cost was proper given that the county failed to produce ownership documents during the audit.
The spotlight has also been turned on Governor Isaac Rutto over Sh48,982,911 in wages to casual workers in the Bomet stadium project without a list of those engaged.
The auditor says it was difficult to confirm the expenditure given that the muster roll was not properly maintained and did not have the rate used to make payments, the total amount payable to each casual worker and the number of days.
“Engagement letters were also not availed for audit examination,” the report says.
The county spent Sh 8,633,108 drilling "dry" boreholes in the hope that they would yield water but this was not the case. Three of the five boreholes had hydrological confirmation reports while two did not.
The report also questions an irregular payment of Sh1,223,800 for hydrological survey services despite the fact that the company was not among those pre-qualified for that financial year.
“Although the contractor was a licensed geologist, the process of engaging him was not subjected to the laid down procurement procedures. It appears the geologist was single-sourced,” says the report.
The auditor further observes that there was no need for a hydrological survey given there was no evidence that boreholes were sunk at Lelaitich, Kosia, Lugumek and Terek schools as recommended in the hydrological report.
The county also could not explain the Sh19,244,940 set aside for stipends and NHIF contributions for the elderly and the people living with disabilities. Bomet had set aside Sh255,523,360 but only Sh236,278,420 was accounted for.
There was also no evidence that each of the elderly persons received Sh2,030 sent through M-Pesa, making it impossible to confirm the sustainability of the project.
Rutto is also on the spot for failing to account for Sh 28,215,656 meant for bursaries and donations in the same financial year. The county accounted for only Sh27,944,908 of the Sh56,160,564 allegedly on bursaries and donations.
“No payment vouchers were produced for audit examination and it was therefore not possible to ascertain how much was spent,” the report notes.
The report also states that the county irregularly hired 326 Area Community Administrators, 411 enforcement officers and 685 officers without designations, ballooning the workforce to 3,750 workers, yet the recommendation is for 2,328.
“The recruitment process was not properly documented and the recruitment was not carried out as by the county public service board as required by County Government Act, 2012,” says the report.
Read: Bomet MCAs plan motion to impeach Governor
The county executive for finance was blamed for failing to set wage limits as provided in law, leading to rises to unsustainable levels.
The report also revealed that Bomet made a full contractual payment of Sh763,394 to a firm for the construction of Chebunyo cattle sale yard, before completion of works, leading aiding the contractor to abandon the project.
Taxpayers were defrauded of Sh675,339 after the county government awarded a contract for the construction of Bomet Market Shades to the highest bidder. The bidder quoted Sh26,003,408 against the Sh25,328,068 quoted by the lowest bidder.
The county also paid a total of Sh4,463,350 to ghost' workers allegedly engaged as casuals in the health department. There was no muster roll, names of workers, amounts paid to each and their work stations, to confirm the propriety of payments.
The auditor also raises the red flag in respect to Sh4,945,000 paid for the leasing of land for extraction of quarry materials for road construction. This was without lease agreements and a payment rate.
The county further failed to explain why it resorted to leasing six ambulances from the Kenya Red Cross Society at a cost of Sh52,950,921. It had allocated Sh45,000,000 to the purchase of a fleet of ambulances in the 2014/2015 budget.
“The expenditure incurred in the year on hire of ambulances, instead of procurement, was not approved and therefore irregular,” says the report.
The Auditor General also questions the excessive Sh1,88,672 payment to a contractor for the construction of Koroma Bridge in Konoin.
The report says this was after the contract was irregularly varied from Sh14,075,220 without documentary evidence. The county also failed to withhold the compulsory Sh1,596,892 retention fee.
[From THE STAR]