The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) is on the spotlight over apparent widespread irregular mileage claims by legislators.
The Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has taken issue with the PSC for failure to recover irregular payments made to legislators in form of mileage and subsistence allowances.
Kandara Member of Parliament, Alice Wahome described mileage claims as one of the biggest frauds in Parliament, following an audit report which revealed how MPs claimed mileage allowances amounting to over Kshs.11 million, despite some having been away and pocketing foreign subsistence allowances. Some MPs were paid three times for the same trip they made with some using fake receipts without making any roadtrips to their constituencies.
“The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) has failed to streamline mileage allowances. It is one of the biggest cartels in Parliament because they (MPs) say they travel on the road but they take a flight then end up being paid on mileage, so they bring receipts that are not genuine many times,” she said.
MPs are entitled to a mileage allowance calculated at the Automobile Association rate of Kshs.187 per kilometre while travelling by road to their respective constituencies. However, those who travel less than 750km from Parliament to their homes are not entitled to the benefit.
The mileage allowance was one of the contentious issues when the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) locked horns with lawmakers last year.
The PSC is also on the spot over Kshs. 122 million in pending bills from 2019/2020 financial year, carried forward to 2020/2021. PSC has attributed non-payment of the bills to delayed disbursements from the National Treasury.
The auditor also queried Kshs.8.7 million used by Parliament to purchase office supplies and services used in county offices. Also queried is why the management of the county offices acquired the office services through direct procurement and even paid for them in cash against the Public Procurement Act.
The auditor’s queries have put the PSC in a tight spot as legislators play the oversight role on how public resources are spent.