27 June 2014

Kenya: Nairobi MCAS Deny Sh139.9 Million Overspent

Nairobi — Members of the Nairobi City County Assembly have denied claims in a recently released Controller of Budget Quarterly Report that they have surpassed their budgetary allocation for sitting allowance by Sh139.9 million.

NCCA Speaker Alex ole Magelo faulted the Controller of Budget report saying the Assembly is within its budget in paying allowances.

"According to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Database records for July 2013-June 2014 the total sitting allowances is Sh148.48 million. The NCCA with a membership of 128MCAs is the only legislature in Kenya which pays sitting allowances monthly and through the payroll thereby allowing taxation."

"We do not pay sitting allowances through vouchers," Magelo stated.

The report on the use of funds in the 47 counties shows that the Assembly spent Sh299.9 million, against the approved budget allocation of Sh160 million.

The Speaker accused the Office of Controller of Budget (OCB) of 'mischief and incompetence' noting that they were supplied with information from the County Payroll Manager through a letter dated June 7 this year, which was also copied to an OCB officer attached to the County Assembly.

"Why would the OCB publish misleading information when they have accurate data from the accounting officer of the County Assembly" Magelo continued. "Our humble conclusion is that this is our malice and witch hunt at its best."

He claimed the Controller of Budget is attempting to gain public mileage at the expense of County Assemblies which have run their operations transparently and efficiently.

"The Country of Budget must apologize to us because we don't want the citizens of Nairobi to even think that the MCAs who they elected came here to squander public funds but we are going to petition the Senate to that it can investigate and set things straight."

Nairobi City County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele told Capital FM that no MCA has been able to accumulate allowances closer to the Sh262,008 per month which has been approved by the SRC.

Committee sittings records which were made available to Capital FM News show that the highest sitting allowance an MCA received in month during the 2013/14 financial year ranges between Sh154,000 and Sh172,000 while Sh19,000 and Sh96,000 respectively is the lowest range recorded.

The Integrated Payroll and Personnel Database (IPPD) which was demonstrated on to journalists allows for a respective committee clerks to register the MCA attendance to a respective Assembly Committee which will then be used to compute the total allowance payable to an MCA at the end of the month.

The Nairobi City County Assembly Speaker explained that all payments are as per the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) circular and as captured in real-time in a software which the assembly has installed and even if a MCA exceed the maximum limit of eight sitting a week, the software will only pay for eight sittings.

The payroll data indicates that no sitting allowances were paid for the month of January when the Assembly was on recess.

The report by the Controller of Budget indicts several other county assemblies countrywide for allegedly spending more than what was allocated on allowances.

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