Embu Systems Review Report Exposes Loopholes
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has revealed the findings of a systems review of the Embu County Executive and Assembly following an assessment conducted between 26th February and 13th March 2018. The findings highlight weaknesses in various functional areas that include, the operating environment, financial, supply chain, project and human resource management; administration, information communication technology, and internal audit.
The assessment, done by prevention officers from the Commission, reveals loopholes such as supplementary budget estimates approvals that exceed 10% of the initial estimates, and failure to activate e-procurement modules for IFMIS in the County Assembly. It further reveals:
- Failure to constitute disciplinary committees which may lead to unfair and un-procedural handling of disciplinary cases in the human resource management.
- Use of private emails to transact official business which the Commission warned could lead to leakage and manipulation of confidential information.
- Absence of complaint registers which, the report warns, may make it difficult to record and effectively analyse and respond to complaints including those related to corruption.
- Loopholes in Committee registers which show some members attending more than one meeting concurrently; signing of registers after they are officially closed which, the report notes, could lead to irregular payment of allowances for meetings not attended.
- Surrendering of imprests beyond the stipulated timelines.
- Failure to register vehicles bought under the Car and Mortgage Scheme in the joint names of the County Assembly and the respective members.
- Absence of records of official searches conducted to verify ownership of property intended to be purchased as required by the law.
The Executive faced similar challenges, among them a lack of governance instruments such as policies, manuals and operational guidelines, customer service charters and a strategic plan.
In the financial management area, the report reveals a failure to fully automate the payment system, incurring expenditure on unplanned transactions, delays in banking collected revenues, which may lead to loss of public funds. And as with their County Assembly counterparts, the Executive lacked a well-structured mechanism for reporting and receiving both external and internal complaints.
The report uncovered some payment vouchers that were paid without adequate supporting documents. The county executive is also shown to have accumulated pending bills amounting to Kshs. 645,029,897.41 by the time the review was done, an indication of poor credit management and delays in imprest surrenders.
The Commission made some recommendations, which it expects the county to implement.
Speaking during the handing over of the assessment report, Commissioner Rose Mghoi said: “The findings raised should provide the County with an opportunity to relook at the systems of work and reduce opportunities for corruption. Strong systems discourage corrupt officials due to the sure chance of being caught and punished.”
She called for individual commitment and responsibility to fight corruption and said the Commission was compiling a comprehensive advisory which would be distributed to each county for implementation.
Receiving the findings, Embu County Governor Martin Wambora expressed his gratitude for the timely report, which he promised to implement. He also revealed that some of the recommendations had already been effected following the signing earlier of a working formula matrix with the Commission.
Assembly Speaker Josiah Thiriku promised to read and implement the recommendations of the report and to work together with the Executive for the betterment of the County.
Publication & Reports