Former MPs still on Parliament payroll – EACC
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – A new report on financial management systems, policies, procedures and practices at the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) has unearthed massive corruption through dubious activities, including possible payment of salaries to former MPs.
The report that was presented to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Friday shows that the PSC does not update the payroll promptly, since the names of former Members of Parliament were reflected in the payroll at the time of the examination.
“This is a loophole that can be used to divert public funds through fraudulent payment of salaries and allowances,” the report cautions.
To seal the loophole, the anti-graft body has recommended that, “the accounting officer should ensure the payroll is frequently updated to ensure that only accounts of officers and members working at PSC at any particular time are retained.”
It was also noted that PSC does not prepare monthly payroll reconciliation statements.
“This makes it difficult to ensure that variations in the payroll from one month to the other are identified, investigated and explained,” EACC director of preventive services Vincent Okong’o lamented.
“Failure to prepare payroll reconciliations is a weakness that may lead to perpetration and concealment or irregularities in the payroll.”
The report recommends that the accounting officer at PSC should ensure that payroll reconciliations are done on a monthly basis and identified variations from one month to another are reviewed, “and accounted for with the relevant supporting documentation.”
EACC Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo says investigations targeting those culpable have been launched.
“Allow me to emphasize that mileage is an allowance provided to facilitate movement from home to Parliament. The mere fact that Members would attempt to claim this allowance when they are out of the country on official duties brings to question their personal integrity and the integrity of the system in use for managing these claims,” he said.
He said the matter will be pursued further since EACC detectives require, “to peruse documents relating to the Co-operative Bank Account where all imprests and cash payments, including mileage claims are processed and paid.”
The explosive report also shows that a number of MPs have been making false mileage claims while others sign on behalf of their colleagues during committee meetings.
“Most Members of Parliament make claims for travelling to their constituencies for almost all the weekends in every month. There is no method for ascertaining that travels took place,” the report reads.
The report also reveals that there are instances when members travel by air to the nearest airports and then use their private vehicles for the reminder of the distances, “and yet make claims for the entire distance.”
“Payment Vouchers for mileage claims are not properly approved as per the payment voucher procedure. The procedure requires that PV to be signed by the claimant and the officer examining the voucher, Authority-to-Incur Expenditure (AIE) Holder, Vote-book accountant and authorized by the Chief Accountant.”
Parliament has 4 weeks to form an implementation plan of the examination carried between the month of February and April.