A new report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has ranked Nairobi and Kisumu as two of the worst counties in terms of managing and reporting the use of public funds. The counties received adverse opinions in the report, meaning that the financial statements were found to have significant misstatements in the underlying accounting records.
Poor Management Persists in Nairobi and Kisumu
This is the third time that Nairobi and Kisumu have received adverse audit opinions due to their poor reporting on the management of public funds. The report also found issues with Murang’a, Baringo, Narok, and Vihiga counties. The Auditor-General noted that these six counties were unable to account for up to Ksh 25 billion for the 2020/21 financial year, with Nairobi being ranked the worst, unable to account for over Ksh 20.9 billion.
Questionable Expenditure Across Counties
The Auditor-General also highlighted issues with the improvement of the Holo-Huma access road in Kisumu, which cost the county government over Ksh 5 million but was found to have poor workmanship and drainage. Baringo County was also questioned for spending Ksh 11.5 million to buy seeds for distribution despite an earlier warning from the National Drought Management Authority of an upcoming dry spell. In Murang’a, Ksh 1.4 billion was spent with no clear explanation, and the Marsabit governor was put under scrutiny for how he spent over Ksh 60 million.
Only Kisii County Receives Clean Audit
Only Kisii County received an unqualified audit opinion in 2020/21, while no county received a disclaimer of opinion. This news comes just a day after the Senate Committee on Devolution voiced concerns over the huge pending debts in the counties, which they say are hindering service delivery. The recent audit findings raise questions about the accountability and transparency of the county governments in Kenya and highlight the need for improved management of public funds.