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TVET Bosses Under Scrutiny for Unsupported Billions and Stalled Projects

TVET Bosses Under Scrutiny for Unsupported Billions and Stalled Projects

Officials from the Vocational and Technical Training department of the Education ministry are under investigation for failing to support Sh4.7 billion in revenue.

The Appropriations-in-Aid collected by Vocational and Technical Training institutions were not backed up by pertinent documents, which raises questions.

A new audit revealed that no documents were provided to confirm the revenue earned, received, and reported in the financial statements.

According to the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, it was stated that the amounts captured were taken from the budget estimates rather than the actual revenue from the institutions.

Additionally, in her review dated June 2022, she noted that no evidence had been provided to demonstrate that the revenue collected was surrendered to the receiver of revenue as required.

Other violations at the department were highlighted in the query, and it is feared that taxpayers may have lost millions of pounds.

Sh40 million, which was sent to Sigalagala National Polytechnic and Nairobi Technical Training Institute for the construction of the mentee institutions, is one of the amounts in question.

The two were awarded Sh20 million each to construct the Emalulu and Mathare Technical and Vocational Colleges.

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According to Gathungu, audit verifications conducted in November 2022 revealed that construction sites had not yet been identified.

Therefore, the funds sent to the two institutions were not utilized, and there was no evidence that the department retained the funds for future use.

“In the circumstances, value for money may not be realied on the transfer of Sh40,000,000 for the construction of mentee institutions,” Gathungu said.

A Sh150 million payment to the TVET department is in doubt due to the unsupported procurement of equipment under the Kenya-China project.

A Chinese company was paid millions to install low voltage boards in the workshops of fifteen TVET institutions.

Gathungu is concerned that management has not provided the disbursement schedule, payment vouchers, and information on how the firm was identified, selected, and awarded.

In the report submitted to the legislature, the auditor casts doubt on whether or not the payments were made and received.

She said that there was no information provided on how the beneficiary institutions were identified and concluded that the Sh150 million paid out could not be confirmed.

As required by law, it has also come to light that the state department lacks a Public Finance Management Standing Committee.

According to Gathungu, the committee mandated by the Public Finance Management (National Government) Regulations, 2015, would have provided strategic guidance on public finance management issues.

The auditor stated that in the circumstances, management had breached the law. Additionally, a loss of Sh356,000 was revealed due to an account in Ifmis that was created under an individual’s name.

The auditor further reported that no explanation was given regarding how the account was created under the shared name without authority and how the State Department intended to recover the lost funds.

Gathungu added that the amount’s recovery is uncertain and cautioned that key processes and internal controls designed to prevent theft, embezzlement, fraud, or errors may be inadequate.

Also in question is the Sh50 million the department spent on rent without having properly executed lease agreements with the respective landlords.

A Sh11.3 million overpayment to three mentor institutions is also being investigated after it was discovered that it exceeded the ministry’s contribution to the projects.

It was reported that no documents were provided to prove the recovery of the excess amount from the respective three mentor institutions. Therefore, it was not possible to confirm the value for money and regularity of the excess disbursement in the circumstances.

Gathungu also identified 27 transactions totaling Sh405 million that were voided during the fiscal years 2021-22.

“No approval was given from the Controller of Budget approving the payments and the voiding,” the auditor said.

Taxpayers may have lost millions in the effort to build more technical and vocational training institutions for KCPE exam candidates.

The audit reveals anomalies in 30 new TVET institutions that the previous administration sought to establish, putting officials on the spot.

The department delegated the projects to existing institutions to oversee the constructions as mentors for the new institutes.

In this regard, Rongo University College’s Kakrao TTI, which was to cost Sh48.7 million, was transferred before it was finished.

According to Gathungu, a physical inspection in September 2022 revealed that although the project had been handed over, it was still incomplete.

“Further, no explanation was provided for the significant delay in completion of the project,” the auditor said.

A comparable project at Kilifi North TTI has also stalled at 60%, with Sh44.4 million of the Sh59.1 million contract sum already paid.

On September 30, 2019, Kenya Coast National Polytechnic completed construction on a two-story building containing a twin workshop, classrooms, and an office block.

Another Matuga TTI project awarded to a contractor on May 17, 2019 for Sh57.8 million has also stalled at 70%.

Gathungu said that the contractor was waiting for funds to proceed with the remaining part of the project.

A block at Igembe Central TTI had also been stalled at fifty percent for two years due to delayed funding from the national government.

Poor workmanship led to defects, and the contractor’s financial viability was questioned “since work could only proceed once payments were received.”

TVET Bosses Under Scrutiny for Unsupported Billions and Stalled Projects

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