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OAG Flags Sh120M Paid To ISPs In The Sh577M Huduma Namba Debacle

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SUMMARY

  • The Information Communication Technology ministry is on the spot over utilisation of Sh577.9 million for purchase of ICT components for Huduma Namba.
  • The State department paid for undisclosed activities related to the Huduma Namba long after the closure of the registration exercise, raising questions of possible fraud.
  • Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has specifically zeroed in on Sh95.9 million pending payment saying “its accuracy and validity could not be confirmed.”

The Information Communication Technology ministry is on the spot over utilisation of Sh577.9 million for purchase of ICT components for Huduma Namba.

The State department paid for undisclosed activities related to the Huduma Namba long after the closure of the registration exercise, raising questions of possible fraud.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has specifically zeroed in on Sh95.9 million pending payment saying “its accuracy and validity could not be confirmed.”

The registration exercise for the National Integrated Information Management System (Niims), commonly known as Huduma Namba, started on April 2, 2019 and ended om May 25, 2019.

“However, there were payments and expenditure for activities undertaken long after the closure, some of which were in relation to the negotiation process,” Ms Gathungu says in a report tabled in Parliament on February 11.

The State chief auditor also flagged Sh120.25 million that was paid to internet Service providers despite the ICT department having ownership and controls the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI), which provides internet to the service providers.

“However, the service providers have not been charged for the use of this infrastructure. No explanation has been provided for this anomaly,” the Auditor-General said.

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The ICT ministry could not explain why it wired back Sh255 million out of the Sh577.9 million the Interior docket provided for purchase of Huduma Namba ICT equipment.

The ministry also failed to provide for audit review a breakdown of expenditure that are in line with the detailed critical infrastructure component budget as well as approved work plan and procurement plan as submitted by Interior ministry.

The State has started rolling out issuance Huduma Namba cards which is billed to be “the authentic single source of truth on personal identity in Kenya”.

Some 38 million people had been registered by the time the Sh9.6 billion exercise closed in May last year.

Data collected through the Huduma Namba registration will be stored in the Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS) — the central location for easy electronic access by institutions, including private corporations that provide crucial and sensitive services.

At the touch of a button, it would produce one’s details stored at the various registries, including births and deaths, marriages and divorce, as well as passport, aliens, ID cards and citizenship registers.

Such details will be linked and relayed in real time to agencies like the Lands registry, the National Social Security Fund, law enforcement agencies, the National Hospital Insurance Fund, the Kenya Revenue Authority, financial agencies, and National Transport and Safety Authority.

(BD)


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