Members of the National Assembly and the Senate have put the Controller of Budget (CoB) on the spot for allegedly illegally and irregularly authorizing payment of 25. 9 billion shillings meant for Medical Equipment Services (MES) program.
The government had earlier selected medical equipment to be distributed across all the 47 counties under the MES program.
According to the two houses, the CoB had no authority to approve funds to be channeled towards the Medical Equipment Services without involving the National and county governments.
“The CoB had no rights to authorize this payment before both the national assembly and senate members approved of it,” said the members during a meeting with the CoB.
Bungoma County Senator Moses Wetang’ula further accused the CoB’s leadership of irresponsibility and mishandling of funds.
“Your work is not limited to just approving funds. The fact that you approved withdrawals of the money from the Treasury and failed to be keen to know how it was used that shows the irresponsibility of someone such as you, holding public office,” said Wetang’ula.
The acting CoB boss Stephen Masha, however, said that he was not let in on the fact that the senate and members of parliament had to approve the withdrawals of funds.
According to him, there was no memorandum of understanding he was aware of that required the two houses to approve withdrawals.
“The only MoU I’m aware of was signed between the National government and individual county governments and that was proof enough that there was an agreement before the money was withdrawn,” said Mr. Masha.
“We also used National Government Appropriations Act and the County Allocation of Revenue Act (CARA) provisions to authorize funds which state that the conditional grant for leasing MES is included in the national budget estimates provided there is an intergovernmental agreement,” he added.
Mr. Masha told the committee that 29.1 billion had been allocated for the MES program since 2015, but his office released only 25.9 billion for the same since then.