Expenditure worth Sh355m puts AG’s office in trouble

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A string of procurement irregularities, involving expenditure worth Sh355 million in the year to June 2017, have thrust the State Law Office into the spotlight.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko says the Attorney-General’s office improperly spent the money on procurement of fuel, lease payments, untaxed airtime allowances, office telephone bills, stipend and training.

FUEL

The Attorney General and the State Department of Justice spent the bulk of the expenditure to procure fuel from RH Devani (Shell Petrol Station) during financial year 2016/17, contrary to the government directive that all fuel should be procured from National Oil Corporation, which is a State corporation, said Mr Ouko.

“Under the circumstances, the propriety and value for money for the expenditure of over Sh143,844,069 could not be ascertained,” he said.

Mr Ouko said in a qualified audit opinion that Majority Leader Aden Duale tabled in Parliament last week, it was not clear why the State Law Office did not follow government regulations.

The Auditor-General says the AG and the Department of Justice irregularly spent Sh96.5 million on rental payments for various leases countrywide.

He said the payments were not properly supported since some leases had expired or had been paid for using scanned invoices.

UNREGISTERED LEASES

There were cases of rent and service charge overpayment, Mr Ouko said, adding that some of the leases were not registered.

“In the circumstance, we could not confirm the accuracy of payments of Sh96,541,610,” he said.

Mr Ouko also raised questions on payment of Sh40.5 million for untaxed airtime allowances instead of issuing of scratch cards.

He also pointed out the payment of Sh6.2 million for unanalysed telephone bills for senior officers and the switchboard.

Mr Ouko says the accounting officer (Solicitor General) paid allowances to staff amounting to Sh40,498,026 during the year under review, contrary to an Office of the President circular OP/Cab/15 of March 5, 2010 and the letter 1005/2 from the Commissioner of Domestic taxes, Kenya Revenue Authority, of August 22, 2012.

Source: Daily Nation

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