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How Prison Cartels Plotted Sh1 billion loot

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The State Department for Correctional Services is on the spot for irregularly paying out Sh975.7 million to faceless supplies who made no deliveries to the Kenya Prisons in a National Youth Service (NYS) looting style.

Auditor General’s report has revealed that the huge amount was paid to fake suppliers in respect of pending bills on behalf of many prison stations across the country.

“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,” Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu said.

The AG also stated that deeper investigations unearthed how other payments of up-to Sh555,652,356 were made on behalf of various prison stations in a scheme that was executed at the headquarters of the prison’s department.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu [p/courtesy]

The Prisons Department plays host to 129 correctional institutions including the nine maximum-security prisons where the unscrupulous businessmen purport to supply food items.

The Auditor General also found out that another Sh419,976,543 of the pending bills was overpaid compared to actual deliveries the ‘ghost suppliers’ made at the various prison stations.

Ms Gathungu said that verification of the payment vouchers at the stations showed  that ‘suppliers’paid were not even contracted to supply anything to those stations.

Further examinations also revealed that  payment vouchers were attached to unverifiable S13 accountable documents. She added that the stations did not order for or receive ration on the dates indicated in the questionable delivery notes.

“7 prison stations book not reflecting orders or deliveries of the same and prison stations counter receipt book register not having series of those counter receipt vouchers (S13) used,” said MS Gathungu.

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The AG who is captured in the an audit of the department books of account for the year ended June 2020 said that an audit of the historical pending bills detailed data that co-related with Treasury’s Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and total expenditure returns at prison stations showed that an over-payment of Sh419,976,543 was made for deliveries that actually amounted to Sh190,347,882.

The report also found that IFMIS payments amounted to Sh610,324,425 and the matter is currently being investigated by sleuths from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

“It should, however, be noted that the above matters regarding irregular payments, doubtful procurement and over-payments are currently under investigation by the EACC.

Zeinab Hussein, the Principal Secretary for Correctional Services Zainab Hussein. [p/courtesy]

The prisons department is bursted just three months after Parliament directed Correctional Services PS Zeinab Hussein to settle all the verified pending bills to suppliers who  made deliveries worth Sh6.2 billion.

The Public Accounts Committee which is chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said that the National Treasury Pending Bills Closing Committee had finalized verifying the pending bills.

“Within two months upon adoption of this report by the House, the accounting officer must ensure that all the pending bills amounting to Sh6,204,906,533 and duly verified are fully settled.

“A report on the same to be submitted to the National Assembly at the lapse of the aforestated two months duration,” PAC chair said in a report adopted by the parliament.

 


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