AUDITOR GENERAL QUERIES 12.3MILLION SPENT ON HIRING OFFICE ACCOMMODATION FOR NAIROBI COUNTY MCAS

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The Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has raised queries over Kshs. 12.3 million spent by the Nairobi County Assembly to lease offices for MCAs without signed lease agreements between the Assembly and the landlords to support the payments.

The Auditor revealed that the majority of MCAs were being accommodated in leased offices after plans to construct a new administration block failed to take off. The project was to take place in phases, with the first phase planned for FY 2018-19, which ended on June 30, 2019. It was then then pushed forward to year 2020.

An audit report showed there were no signed lease agreements between the assembly and the landlords to support the payments. “In the circumstances, it was not clear whether the expenditure of Sh12.3 million was a proper charge to public funds,” the audit report read.

It transpires that, despite allocating Kshs. 500 Million for the project in 2019, the land which had been identified for the project was unavailable. The new block was to be constructed at the parking space between Taifa Road and City Hall Way starting this year. The aim was to provide work space for 39 nominated ward representatives and chairpersons of House committees. Out of the 85 MCAs, 53 are operating from rented offices, while the remaining 32 are using dilapidated offices.

Following the impasse, the County Assembly has allocated Kshs.1.18 billion to purchase an administration block. The new development, articulated in Nairobi County Fiscal Strategy paper for the financial year ending June 30, 2022, reveals that the project will start this financial year.

“A total of Kshs.1.18 billion will go towards acquisition of an administrative block to cater for 37 special-elect MCAs and 20 offices for the assembly’s leaders and staff,” the document reads.

Another Kshs.191 million will be spent to rehabilitate and construct 30 assembly ward offices. This will be executed in a phased approach, while the remaining Kshs.300 million has been earmarked to buy information communication technology infrastructure, furniture and other equipment.

The Auditor General oversights expenditure of public funds to ensure prudent usage of these scarce resources.

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