Kenya: Audit - North Rift Counties Misused Covid-19 Funds

North Rift counties are on the spot on claims of misusing funds set aside to fight Covid-19 as they grapple with shortage of facilities to manage the third wave of the pandemic.

A special audit reveals irregularities in the use of the funds by the eight counties in the region.

In the report, Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu indicates Nandi County procured items worth over Sh1.3 million that were not in the procurement plan.

The audit further revealed that by July 2020, the devolved unit had not paid Sh4.1 million to 276 support staff deployed to various health facilities, despite having received Sh58.4 million from the Health ministry to pay frontline healthcare workers' allowances.

"The county received Sh30 million Kenya Devolution Support Programme Funds on July 2, 2020. The devolved unit did not have in place an approved work plan, procurement plan and training plan. As a result, it did not utilise the funds, hindering service delivery to healthcare providers, vulnerable groups and other Covid-19 mitigating interventions," the report states.

Medical equipment

Trans Nzoia irregularly awarded a tender of Sh3 million from county funds for the supply of medical equipment, contrary to the Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, and extra Sh2.7 million for supply of non-pharmaceutical items that were received without signatories of inspection and acceptance committee member.

The county spent over Sh20.9 million in irregular payments contrary to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015. According to the audit report, the county also failed to use about Sh123.5 million conditional grant from the Danish International Development Agency meant for Covid-19.

Uasin Gishu carried out direct negotiations for the supply of goods, works or non-consultancy services and paid over Sh11.8 million against the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act.

Baringo Health department spent Sh6.8 million on training and Covid-19 sensitisation drives without an approved plan and a further Sh7.1 million in supply of drugs with inadequate competitive bidding as required by the law.

As at July 31, 2020, Elgeyo Marakwet had pending bills amounting to Sh19.6 million related to Covid-19 activities under county own source fund.

In West Pokot County, there were no approved plans specific to Covid-19 for all categories of funds except for the national government grant.

Non-Covid-19 activities

The county under-used Sh35.4 million from the Kenya Devolution Support Programme and Danida funds meant to address emerging Covid related risks.

Turkana used about Sh62.4 million out of the Sh187 million county emergency fund for non-Covid activities.

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