Sanitary pads for school girls improperly bought for Sh101m – Auditor General.
According to Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, the Gender department improperly paid Sh101.2 million for sanitary pads to public schoolgirls.
FY 2019-20 report reveals that the payments were made to clear other pending bills carried forward from the previous fiscal period.
“The payments were made without proof of requisite supporting documents,” the report said.
It cites missing documents such as procurement requisitions, monitoring reports, implementation committee minutes confirming supply and receipt, delivery status reports, signed store ledgers confirming receipts, Kenya Bureau of Standards compliance certificate, inspection and acceptance reports, and performance bonds.
The State Department of Gender Affairs is in charge of acquiring and distributing sanitary towels to female students in public primary, special primary, and secondary schools.
The Education Ministry launched the Sanitary Towels Programme in 2011, which had been procuring and distributing sanitary towels to girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.
According to the Basic Education Amendment Act (2016), the government is responsible for providing free, sufficient, and high-quality sanitary towels. The goal is to reduce the number of girls who miss school due to menstruation due to a lack of pads.
The government is also required to provide a safe, sanitary, and environmentally friendly method of changing and disposing of the towels.
According to Gathungu’s report, unsupported expenditures totalled Sh1,797,649 for printing, advertising, and information supplies and services (Sh175,088), communication supplies and services (Sh339,501), and domestic travel and subsistence (Sh339,501) (Sh1,283,060).
The Auditor-General also cited Sh1,545,572 paid on October 8, 2019, for ICT equipment and networking services, which violated ICT Circular No MICT/A/10/3 VOL.L dated January 24, 2019.
“The circular directed that all ICT procurements be done through the State Department for ICT. No approvals or exemptions from the Ministry of ICT were availed for audit examination,” it said.
According to the report, the State Department had a budget of Sh21,609,270 under the Ministry of ICT for purchasing computers, printers, and other IT equipment, photocopiers, and ICT networking and communications equipment for the fiscal year 2019-20.
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The allocation was not used by management, and no explanation was provided.
According to the report, under the circumstances, the State Department was in violation of the Presidential Procurement Directives on ICT equipment, and no value was derived from an unutilized budgetary allocation of Sh21,609,270.