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Audit flags 148 stalled Nyamira projects, residents denied services

Nyamira residents have been denied services after 148 projects valued at about Sh1 billion initiated by the county government either delayed or stalled.

The county government also engaged in irregular and opaque procurement and accumulated huge pending bills, some questionable.

The revelations are contained in the 2019-20 financial audit report of the county executive produced by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu.

The report was tabled in the Senate last week.

According to the report that could focus a spotlight on Governor Amos Nyaribo’s administration, 90 projects worth Sh320.13 million procured during the year were not implemented.

“In addition, 40 projects budgeted at Sh378.29 million and on which actual expenditure totalling Sh275.98 million had been incurred as of June 30, 2020 had not been completed,” the report indicates.

Eleven projects contracted in the previous year at Sh95.57 million had stalled.

Another seven projects worth Sh20.23 million were behind schedule. They had either not been completed, stalled or abandoned as at the time of the audit in October 2020.

“As a result, residents did not enjoy the benefits due from the unexecuted and incomplete projects,” Gathungu reports says.

For instance, Gathungu flagged the delayed construction of the 13.95km Borabu Inn-Golani Heights Resort-Jua Kali-Nyamira Boys-Nyambite Market road.

The project’s Sh104.37 million contract had expired by the time of the audit, with only 50 per cent of the work done.

“No plausible explanation was provided by management for the delay in completing the work. As a result of the delay, the benefits expected from the project were not realised,” the report shows.

The county also failed to construct a 160-bed Covid-19 patient isolation centre despite receiving Sh111.82 million from the national government and awarding the contract through restricted tendering.

This violated Section 91(1) of Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015, which prescribes open tendering as the preferred method for procurement of goods, works and services by public entities.

“Audit inspection of the project in November 2020 indicated that the works, including groundbreaking activities, had not started,” the report states.

Gathungu adds that the county could not provide evidence to show it used open tendering in the award of Sh28.86 million contract for supply of stationery, cleaning materials, disinfectants and detergents.

The purchases were not supported with Requests for Quotations as prescribed in Section 106 (2) (b) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.

The provision requires as many people as necessary be invited to bid for supply of contracts to ensure effective use of public funds.

“In addition, requisitions for their issue from the stores or the identities of the persons they were issued to were not provided for audit,” the report reads.

The auditor cast doubt on pending bills amounting to Sh285.42 million as there were no crucial documents to show how they were accumulated.

“As a result, the accuracy, validity and completeness of the pending accounts payables balance totalling Sh285.42 million on June 30, 2020 could not be confirmed.

In addition, the county accumulated debt amounting to Sh337.38 million owed to county government entities and third parties.

However, contract documents, invoices and ledgers related to the balance were not provided for audit.

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