The Senate has threatened to have the National Treasury deny the Ministry of Health funds meant for Managed Equipment Services projects for counties.
The Senators say that the project is famous for graft cases, where funds allocated for the project are misappropriated at the expense of the taxpayer.
The Senators’ decision comes after it was discovered that the ministry resorted to open tendering of the leased equipment instead of following the right procedure of pursuing the tender through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), as required.
“Until we know the truth about this equipment, we are asking the National Treasury to deny this ministry (Health) the cash for the equipment,” said Isiolo Senator Fatumo Dulo’s led committee that was probing the MES project.
The Senate also accused the ministry of health for failing to be transparent as there were huge amounts of money involved yet there was not a multi-agency team to review the project.
Acting Cabinet Secretary for the Treasury, however, said that the National Treasury should not be included in the mess as it is the Ministry of Health that pulled out before the 38 billion shilling project was reviewed.
CS Ukur Yatani further told the senators that the Ministry of Health had said that if they had pursued the PPP arrangement, the project would take longer than expected.
CS Yatani said that the Ministry of Health had communicated to the treasury in a way that suggested the Treasury was not included in the reviewing process of the project, and that it is not in their place to know how various sectors use the money that is allocated to them.
“The PPP was the right procedure and had it been followed, we would have checked for compliance, but when we received the letter, we had automatically been blocked from any other details,” said Yatani.
The Senate, however, put blame on the Cabinet Secretary of Treasury, saying that instead of letting the Ministry of Health have its way in the matter, the Treasury should have exercised some control given that it (Treasury) is the custodian of public resources.
The Managed Equipment services project has had issues ever since it began, some highlighted problems being that since its inception 19 counties are yet to put them to use due to lack of facilities such as electricity and space.