AG's office on the spot over 'missing' Sh572 million

The State Law Office headed by Attorney General Paul Kihara is on the spot over the whereabouts of Sh571.99 million that was to be transferred to five public institutions.

The State Law Office and the Department of Justice said it transferred the money to the institutions but the entities denied receiving the funds, a new audit report shows.

The report was tabled in Parliament last week.

The report shows that the AG’s office transferred Sh2.4 billion to 11 institutions which are under the State Law Office in the 2018-19 financial year.

However, confirmations from five institutions revealed the entities did not receive Sh571.99 million.

They include the Council of Legal Education which received Sh210.46 million. The State Law Office claims it transferred Sh370.56 million to the council.

Out of the Sh562.29 million the AG’s office said it released the Kenya School of Law during the year, the institution only received Sh289.89 million. The office could not explain the whereabouts of the remaining Sh272.40 million.

Kenya Copyright Board received Sh3 million less than the Sh124.58 million the State Law Office disclosed to have been disbursed while Business Registration Service only got Sh176.42 million out of Sh312.91 million the AG’s office claimed to have transferred.

National Centre for International Arbitration received Sh100 million less than the Sh113.41 million the department claims it disbursed.

“In the circumstances, the accuracy of transfers to other government entities of Sh2,409,719,913 for the year ended June 30, 2019 could not be confirmed,” reads the report.

The report fingered the AG’s office for an increase in pending bills. During the year under review, the debt grew by Sh10.28 million to stand at Sh44.39 million as at June 30, 2019.

The wage bill increase was despite President ’s express directive to national government ministries, departments and agencies and county governments to immediately settle their debts.

“Had the bills been paid and the expenditure charged to the respective accounts in 2018-19, the statements of receipts and payments for the year would have reflected a deficit of Sh34,107,203 of the reflected surplus of Sh10,287,002 for the year ended June 30, 2019,” the report says.

Further, the auditor revealed key activities of the State Law office were impeded during the year owing to the National Treasury’s failure to release Sh367.78 million.

This resulted in under expenditure thus affecting various activities the office had lined up during the fiscal year.

“The under expenditure occurred in all expense components. The management has attributed the under expenditure to non-release of all exchequer allocations by the national treasury which impacted negatively on service delivery to Kenyans.” 

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