Auditor-General Edward Ouko has exposed how a former governor and his wife spent Ksh26 million on foreign trips while still in office.
In the report, Ouko outlined how the money was spent under the reign of former Tharaka Nithi governor Samuel Ragwa.
For instance, between September 26 to 30, 2016 the governor’s personal assistant was paid Ksh1,188,380 to cater for the governor’s per diem for a bench-marking trip to Denmark.
However, records provided did not show any evidence that the governor travelled to Denmark during the time in question. In another instance, three officers were paid Ksh2,022,300 to attend Tharaka Nithi County Exchange Programme in Oxford, UK and conferred an over-payment of Ksh364,140 in per diems.
The Auditor-General also noted how the payroll manager was paid three imprests of Ksh2,409,050; Ksh468,500 and Ksh986,800, all totalling to Ksh3,864,350 for the UK and two other unspecified trips.
According to the audit report, no evidence of attendance of the UK Exchange Programme in form of attendance register, activity programme, timetable or back to office report was presented for audit.
Another alleged seminar in Brazil saw the CEC for Tourism, Water and Environment paid Ksh745,700 between April 3 to 7, 2017.
The discrepancies totaling to this amount include overpayment of per diems and expenses for local night outs.
“Further, no evidence in form of copies of stamped passport, air tickets and boarding passes were made available for audit verification,” the Auditor-General noted.
The report also questions irregular procurements, where the executive procured goods and specialised materials worth Ksh30,711,880 and Ksh63,645,900, both totalling Ksh94,357,780.
Ouko noted that hospitality supplies and services got an allocation of Ksh9,064,904; specialised materials and services Ksh47,438,400; general office supplies Ksh36,117,641 and purchase of vehicles and other equipment Ksh2,125,000 – a contravention of the maximum threshold for quotations under the Public Procurement Regulations 2006.