Kenya National Assemblyto block funding of errant State Corporations
Updated Tuesday, October 22nd 2013 at 23:12 GMT +3
|Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. The House plans to block budget approvals and recommend action on wayward officers. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]|
By JACKSON OKOTH
The National Assembly is working on a law that will allow it to freeze funds for any State Corporation or department that has not cleared all queries raised by the Auditor General’s office.
This comes in the wake of numerous cases of accounting errors, unsupported imprests, pending bills and other unexplained expenditures appearing on the books of accounts for many State corporations, departments and ministries.
Ababu Namwamba, who chairs the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) said it would soon be a requirement that all State Corporations clear all their previous audit queries before Parliamentary Budget Committee approves their budgets for the next financial year.
The Member of Parliament for Budalangi made the remarks yesterday while scrutinising the accounts of Ministry of Lands, which now has a restructured docket to include Housing and Urban Development.
The Auditor General’s office has questioned the Ministry’s under expenditure totalling Sh2.6 million, spending without vouchers, pending bills totalling over Sh356 million and outstanding imprests of over Sh9 million. Although the Ministry has since provided all supporting vouchers and footnotes to the Auditor general’s office, the PAC issued a warning that in future any public accounting officer who fails to act on audit queries received in time will face severe sanctions.
Officers found culpable
“In addition to blocking budget approvals, we shall also be recommending to the office of public prosecutor or the anti-corruption and ethics commission to nab those officers found culpable,” said Namwamba during the meeting. For the last three months, Parliament has been combing through audit queries raised by the Auditor General concerning accounts for all ministries and state corporations.
On the list of State Corporations that have completely ignored queries from the Auditor general’s office includes State House-which has yet to answer to the management letters earlier sent to it.
“It is regrettable that we have not submitted any response to the Auditor general’s office but we undertake to do so,” said Laurence Lenayapa, the State House Comptroller. Although consultations have been ongoing between State House and the Auditor general’s office, no official responses have been given. The committee has given State House seven days to clear all audit queries before appearing before it again at a date, yet to be determined.
President Uhuru Kenyatta assents to bill aimed at providing funds for standard gauge railway
Updated Thursday, October 24th 2013 at 13:27 GMT +3
Nairobi, Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday at State House Nairobi signed into law the Finance Act 2013.
The Act amends the Customs and Excise Act by introducing a Railway Development Levy to be paid on all goods imported into the country for home use.
The levy will be charged at a rate of 1.5 per cent of customs value of the goods and will be paid by the importer. This will provide funds for the construction of standard gauge railway network to facilitate transportation of goods.
“The levy shall be at the rate of 1.5 percent of the customs value of the goods and shall be paid by the importer of such goods at the time of entering the goods for home use,” says the Act
The relevant paperwork for the signing of the Act was presented to the President by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.