A report by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has revealed massive looting in public universities. The document tabled in parliament also unearthed reasons why key projects have not been completed.
The report revealed that universities are running unapproved bank accounts to swindle funds; irregularly issue allowances and hiring of their staff lack regional balance.
This scheme of looting is rampant in Pwani University, Laikipia, Kirinyaga University, University, Kisii University, Chuka University, University of Kabianga, Rongo University, Maseno University, University of Eldoret, Machakos University, Turkana University and, Chuka University.
Gathungu exposed how procurement of the construction of perimeter at Pwani University Gathungu was irregularly done. Only Sh7.6 million out of the Sh100 million budgeted has been pumped into the project.
Examination of audit records show that the project was implemented through the labour-based contract method while the conditions prescribed for use of the method in the Public Procurement and Assets Disposals act 2015 were not adhered to.
“The nature and scope of the project did not meet the conditions prescribed for use of labour-based contract method and therefore the adoption of the method may have been irregular,” the report reads in part.
The auditor general also raised a red flag over irregular accounting for taxable revenue earned from sale of food, provision of conference facilities and accommodation.
The reports shows that they were all lumped together with students fees contrary to Part II of the Income Tax Act. There was also irregular evaluation of tenders. Ms Gathungu found that evaluation committee members assessed tenders jointly contrary to regulation 13 (1) of the Public procurement and assets disposals regulations which requires them to asses independently.
In Turkana University the AG found that Sh11.4 million tuition and monies earned from 21 revenue streams lacked student record. Documents such as fee ledgers, journal vouchers, general ledger accounts, student fees & arrears subsidiary ledgers and supporting schedule were not provided to support audit review.
Machakos University did not comply with the Employment Act on deductions as 220 employees were found to be earning net salaries below a third of their basic, which is contrary to provisions of section 19(3) of the Employment Act 2007.
Ms Gathungu also questioned the delayed implementation of sports and games projects worth Sh1.7 million which had no budgetary provisions.
University of Eldoret could not explain why they had not reconciled transfers from work in progress amounting to Sh69.1 million, outstanding interests amounting to Sh5.3 million and the utilization of research funds.
The institution university received donor funds amounting to Sh128.5 million out of which Sh56.99 million was disbursed to lecturers for research purposes but the procurement office had no reports to support the achievement of project.
“The validity and completeness of the expenditure of Sh56, 997,430 incurred on research funds could not be confirmed,” she said.
Maseno University could not support how Sh8 million spent on research was paid. The university claims that the money was paid to a consultant but Gathungu noted that there was no clarity on how the consultant was identified. They also failed to provide the procurement method used they used.
“The management is in breach of the law and the propriety of the expenditure of Sh8 million for consultancy fee could not be confirmed,” the report read.
Dr Ganthungu also questioned one ledger which was full of anomalies. Some Sh3.67 million for 129 students debtors had their names appear more than once with different registrations.
But in Kirinyaga University, the AG found that there was unapproved Appropriations in Aid and construction of a lecture theatre. The project which was to cost Sh149.2 million with a completion date of May 2018 was later hiked by Sh29.7 million to Sh178.97 million. The completion date has been extended five times. Last it was pushed to April 23, 2021 but the project still remains 47.6% complete.
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