DCI and EACC investigate possible fraud in Siaya County totalling over KES 1 billion
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission are currently investigating two incidents that resulted in Siaya County losing over KES 1 billion in the last two financial years.
Former auditor general Edward Ouko, who is heading a task force formed by county governor James Orengo to audit the county’s books, revealed that their preliminary findings show that KES 600 million was lost in 2021 and another KES 400 million in 2022.
Ouko stated, “There are irregular transfers of funds from various bank accounts in breach of the public finance management act. Some KES 718 million was paid to various individual staff for recurrent expenditure purportedly for training activities that are yet to be verified.”
It is believed that this figure likely includes the KES 600 million that was reported to have been lost due to corruption.
The task force also discovered that there may be between 110 and 140 ghost workers on the payroll, as well as duplications of information and ID numbers with as little as five digits rather than the standard eight.
In addition, up to 14 people have access to the payroll and may make changes to it, which limits the activities of the County Public Service Board responsible for hiring.
Ouko explained that KES 298 million of the KES 718 million was paid from the cash disbursements account, and that the KES 400 million believed to have been lost between July 1 and 13, 2022 was actually KES 406 million.
He added, “The correct amount is KES 277 million, the rest are still in the system.”
The task force will issue a final declaration on the matter on January 23.
Governor James Orengo has vowed to fully implement the task force report on the county’s financial operations.
Orengo who received the preliminary report on Thursday from the task force chair and former Auditor General Edward Ouko said there will be no “sacred cows”.
“I commit to fully implement this report in its entirety once completed,” he said.
The preliminary findings have cast a dark shadow on former governor Rasanga Amoth’s tenure in office.
In the meantime, the investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission continue as they work to uncover the full extent of the financial losses and bring those responsible to justice.