Kiambu Systems Audit Reveals Loopholes
An audit of Kiambu County’s systems, policies, procedures and practices has revealed a number of loopholes such as lack of clear policy guidelines and operating procedure manuals.
The results of the audit, which was carried out by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, are contained in a Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) report presented on February 12 to Governor Ferdinand Waititu and County Assembly Speaker Stephen Ndichu.
The main objective of the audit was to identify and profile weaknesses, loopholes, avenues and opportunities for corruption, and to make recommendations as well as offer appropriate advice on how to streamline the systems, seal the identified loopholes and enhance service delivery to the public.
The assessed areas included the operating environment, financial, supply chain, project, human resource, lands and records management, information and communication technology, transport and administration, as well as internal audit. The audit noted common loopholes such as:
- Failure to operationalize some Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) modules; weak budgetary controls and failure to undertake revenue collection reconciliations.
- Lack of internal controls and checks in the billing process;
- Lack of a comprehensive Fixed Assets Register.
- Lack of an elaborate county-wide risk management framework.
- Use of engineers’ estimates in civil works as a basis for disqualifying bidders and non-adherence to procurement thresholds while choosing procurement methods.
- Failure to submit project implementation status reports for compilation and monitoring.
- Delays in completion of projects, and failure to deduct 10 percent retention fee on amounts paid to contractors.
- Lack of a working framework between the national and country governments, and other stakeholders in the management of alcoholic drinks.
- Making payments when vouchers are not fully supported and failure to charge log books for vehicles purchased through the County Assembly car loan scheme, among others.
Presenting the report, EACC Vice-Chairperson Commissioner Sophia Lepuchirit explained that the Commission applies a three-pronged approach in the fight against corruption — law enforcement, prevention and public education.
“This approach is premised on the fact that while the full force of the law must be brought against corrupt persons, it is crucial that anti-corruption efforts be focused on prevention through systems reviews and public education,” she said.
Commissioner Lepuchirit urged the county officials to prepare plans/schedules for implementation, which should be submitted to the EACC within a month from the date of the presentation of reports. “The plans will assist EACC to continuously monitor the implementation and to address any emerging issues,” she noted.
It is expected that the county will establish effective Corruption Prevention Committees with the Governor and the Speaker as the respective chairpersons. It is also expected to train Integrity Assurance Officers (IAOs) who will offer technical support in mainstreaming corruption prevention.
Similar audits have been conducted in Kwale, Kilifi, Kajiado, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Busia, Kisii, Laikipia, Kericho, Vihiga, Taita Taveta, Embu, Kisumu and Kitui, among other counties. The audit findings will help in formulation of advisories to counties on how to strengthen their systems.
The systems audits are conducted in line with the mandate of EACC as stipulated in section 11 (1) (g) and (i) of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2011. This states that the Commission shall: “Advise, on its own initiative, any person on any matter within its functions; and Subject to article 31 of the Constitution, monitor the practices and procedures of public bodies to detect corrupt practices and to secure the revision of methods of work or procedures that may be conducive to corruption practices.”
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