25 May 2018

Kenya: What Missing NYS Billions? PS Omollo Wonders

Nairobi — Public Service Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo has refuted claims that Sh9billion was lost at the National Youth Service.

Appearing before the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee Friday morning, Omollo stated that the Auditor General gave the department a clean bill of health during the 2016/2017 financial period, the time the funds are said to have been lost.

"I do not think it is possible for that kind of money to be lost from an institution and the Auditor General for whom me as an accounting officer I live in fear of then does not find it, for me it is mind-boggling. I am not sure how it is that it never came to my attention that Sh9 billion was lost," she stated.

"If this colossal amount of money of Sh9bilion has been lost and was completely undetected by the Auditor General's office, it indeed raises a lot of questions. We too are very keen to understand and unravel this alleged atrocity that has missed all the eyes of scrutiny."

She stated that since her appointment at the ministry in 2016, NYS has had significantly better performance.

"In any system that is manned by individuals, it is garbage in, garbage out so I am not saying that it is not possible to lose funds. If the Auditor General's office would miss a loss of Sh9 billion from an institution, we need to question the entire governance framework of the institutions that hold us to account," she explained.

"If I would miss it, perhaps you would say that Lillian missed it as the PS but the Auditor General's team, that is not possible and we had a special audit requested by this committee and nothing was found to have been lost."

She stated that she is puzzled by reports that Sh9billion has been lost at the department and that she is waiting for the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission probes to see what they will unravel.

"From when I took office in January 2016 to date, the department has gone through intense and rigorous investigations and summons by the PAC, other oversight committees of Parliament, the DCI and EACC among others. Before the PAC I have appeared 14 times on matters related to the NYS, other departmental committees 63 times," she stated.

Over 40 individuals accused of involvement in the NYS scandal have been questioned by police since Monday, but no arrest has been made.

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