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City Hall's finance department on the spot for overspending Sh1.2bn.

The finance department at City Hall is on the spot for overspending Sh 1.2 billion beyond the budgetary allocations approved by the Controller of Budget (CoB).

The Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee has raised concern over the huge expenditure yet cash collected by the county is supposed to be kept in the County Revenue Fund.

A report by the office CoB on county governments' budget implementation review report for the first quarter of 2018/19, indicates that City Hall spent more than it received.

In her report, Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo said the Transport and Public Works Department had Sh15.39 million allocated for development projects but the county spent Sh474.6 million on the same.

On recurrent expenditure, the department spent Sh217 million despite an allocation of Sh177.5 million.

'Despite receiving a grant of Sh 15.3 million from the CoB to fund the expenditure, the county used Sh534.9 million on development, which implies weak internal controls,' read the report.

It further suggested said that the county's treasury should strengthen internal controls to ensure expenditure is within approved work plans.

The report also highlighted that the Environment department got Sh92.8 million for recurrent expenditure but spent Sh501.5 million towards the same.

It also said the finance department spent Sh520.6 million in recurrent expenditure and the Education docket spent Sh224.7 million despite an allocation of Sh81.8 million.

'Sectors are spending beyond the ceilings set by the CoB which is worrying. Looking at the data, it shows that not all collected local revenue is sent to the Central Bank meaning that the money is used by county departments which is against the law,' the CoB said.

Embakasi MCA Michael Ogada said less than 10 per cent of funds allocated for development was used, instead, it went to recurrent expenditure.

Appearing before the committee, Economic Planning Chief Officer Winfred Kathangu said the excessive funds spent represented financial commitments made by the county.

'There is excess figures on expenditure because we have commitments that are yet to be paid. But due to poor cash flow, we have been facing a lot of challenges,' Kathangu said.

She found herself in a fix when she was unable to explain where the excess Sh1.2 billion came from. She asked for more time to look into the CoB report

Kathangu is set to appear again before the committee again next week to shed more light in the issue.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Mar 1, 2019
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