Auditor General takes on the judiciary for over unaccounted Sh1.5 billion audit query

The Supreme Court of Kenya is on the spot again this time round not for good reason if a report by the Auditor General is a thing to go by.

Auditor General Edward Ouko has cast doubt on the expenditure of more than Sh1.5 billion in the Judiciary in the financial year ending June 30, last year.

In a report tabled in the National Assembly by Majority Leader Aden Duale, Ouko flagged out several unsupported expenditures that could put the Chief Justice David Maraga-led institution on the spotlight.

Ouko raised concerns about some Sh876 million that the Judiciary transferred to 21 some tribunals.The expenditures, the report notes, were captured in the financial statements of the Judiciary.

But the audit showed that there was no actual transfer of the money to the tribunals as declared in the financial books.

“In the circumstances, the propriety and validity of the Sh876, 890, 288 expenditure on the 21 tribunals could not be ascertained as a proper charge on public funds,” read the report.

The auditor also questioned the validity of some Sh613 million that the Judiciary declared as pending bills in its books.The bills, he said, were not supported with relevant documents including contracts, invoices, works completion certificates or payment vouchers.

The Judiciary also failed to explain why it failed to pay the pending bills when they fell due. Ouko also revealed in the report that construction of some 39 law courts across the country whose contracts were awarded between 2013 and 2017 is yet to be completed.

The Sh3.4 billion projects are funded by the national government. Ouko faulted the Judiciary for not maintaining a fixed assets register.

The habit, he said, has made it difficult to ascertain the expenditure of some Sh608 million that the Judiciary declared it spends on the acquisition of fixed assets during the year.

Lack of the register also made it hard to confirm the ownership, existence, location, safety and the current status of the Judiciary’s fixed assets.

The report noted that the Judiciary under utilized its allocation for the year despite several complaints by Maraga that the institution is underfunded.Out of the budget of Sh14.6 billion, the Judiciary spent Sh13.8 billion resulting in an under-expenditure of Sh851 million.

The Judiciary spent Sh7.3 billion on compensation of employees, Sh2.7 billion on purchase of goods and services while some Sh2 billion was spent on acquisition of assets.

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