A National Assembly committee yesterday ordered the Department of Defence (DoD)to allow auditors to scrutinise the procurement and supply of foodstuff and other consumable.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members expressed shock that the Auditor General had been denied access to crucial tendering documents. Appearing before the committee yesterday, Defence PS Ibrahim Mohamed and DoD Senior Chief Finance officer Charles Muhia, then denied blocking auditors from doing their work.
The auditors had accused the DoD of making it impossible for them to access any documents on the particular tendering saying all their efforts have been met with hostility.
Muhia, however, said DoD was only opposed to the auditing of projects that had already been audited. “There was no restriction on foodstuffs and consumables, the only issue that we are uncomfortable with is asking for projects that have already been audited,” he said
Mohamed said the auditors have never informed him of the challenges they are encountering and promised to ensure all the documents are available.“I have no feedback from auditors that they are facing challenges. I want to assure this committee that I will abide by the ruling of the committee and ensure that the auditors get the crucial documents,” he said.
This followed a directive by the committee chaired by Opiyo Wandayi that DoD presents all the necessary documents to allow the audit to continue. He warned DoD against ignoring decisions made by Parliament.
“You cannot just sit there and decide that you will go against the orders of Parliament. The orders that we gave for special audit must be complied by both the Auditor General and ministry. It is my ruling that DoD will allow the auditors to access any documents they want,” he said.
Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang said disobeying parliamentary orders amounts to contempt of the committee. The matter came up after the committee directed the Auditor General to conduct a special audit on the supply of foodstuff and other consumables to DoD for the financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.
The auditors had 60 days to conduct the exercise. The move was prompted by claims of misuse of restricted tendering by DoD following complaints by a company involved in supplying meat to the Nanyuki base.
Jack Wright (1982) Ltd, a petitioner based in Nanyuki, which has been winning most contracts at DoD, told the National Assembly that the country could be losing millions of shillings in the process. In his petition, he claimed DoD has not advertised tenders for the supply of meat to the Eldoret and Isiolo Airbase for the last three years, which is against the law
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