The State Department for Correctional Services has been caught out in a scandal involving irregular payments of nearly Kshs.1 billion, paid to suppliers for non- existent deliveries to various Kenyan Prisons.

A fresh audit revealed that the State department paid out Kshs.975.7 million in respect of pending bills on behalf of various prison stations, “however, verification of the payment vouchers at the stations revealed various irregularities as suppliers who were paid at the headquarters were not known to the stations,” said Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu.

The scandal has rekindled the National Youth Service (NYS) type rip-off, in which Kshs.971 million of public funds were stolen through fictitious invoices for goods and stationery. The scandal amount has since grown to a massive Kshs.1.8 billion as investigations continue.

Ms Gathungu says an examination of payment records revealed that payments totaling Kshs.555,652,356 and another Kshs.419,976,543 were made at the State Department’s headquarters on behalf of various prison stations. This, she revealed was an overpayment compared to actual deliveries at the stations.

The Auditor-General said that investigations at the stations revealed that suppliers paid had never been contracted to supply rations in those stations. Further, the stations reported having not ordered for, nor received rations on the dates indicated in the delivery notes.

The anomalies noted that actual supplies were amounted to Kshs. 190.3 million while IFMIS payments amounted to Kshs. 610.3 million.

The Auditor General said that the matter was under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

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