Senate eyes counties in the probe for misappropriated COVID-19 funds

The Kilifi county refferal hospital. PHOTO COURTESY

The Senate Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 has urged the Auditor General to move swiftly and audit all the 47 counties on how they have spent their COVID-19 funds.

The committee said that there is a need for auditor general Nancy Gathungu to conduct a special audit within one month on how all the 47 County Governments spent money which was meant for COVID-19.

A letter from the senate to the auditor general pointed that the investigation is  supposed to cover the period from March 13, 2020 when the first COVID-19 case in Kenya was recorded to July 31, 2020.

Some of the components that ought to be captured by the Auditor General include the total amount of funds received by the County Governments, specific to COVID-19 activities, and to which bank accounts the monies were deposited by the National Government.

The Senate also wants her to ”establish whether financial and non-financial reports on funds from the National Government specific to COVID-19 were produced every month.”Letter indicated 

Ms. Gathungu will also be required to establish whether the funds were spent in accordance with set work plans, procurement, and training plans.

The committee wants the Auditor General to report back on any irregularities involving the misuse of public funds and any weaknesses in management of funds.

The Auditor-General has been given until September 4 to complete the special audit and report back to the Senate.

This comes just a few days after it emerged that the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency flouted procurement rules and made purchases at double the amount PPEs were being sold at the local market.