Kibabii University and Kitale Polytechnic warned by Parliament

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Kibabii University's VC Prof. Isaac Ipara at the Kenya National Assembly's Public Investment Committee on Governance and Education interrogation
AUDIT COMMITTEE WARNS INSTITUTIONS OF LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OVER BREACHES
Two tertiary institutions found themselves in legislators’ cross hairs as a House Audit Committee delved into high-stakes audit. The Kitale National Polytechnic and Kibabii University were appearing before the Public Investment Committee on Governance and Education.
The Members trained their eyes on a number of queries, including those related to delays in submitting crucial documentation for audit, hampering the confirmation of proper procurement procedures and value for money realization.
The Committee also raised concerns over a lack of commitment from the institution heads who they faulted for non-compliance with laws on ethnic composition, and inaccuracies in cash and cash equivalents.
Kenya National Assembly’s Public Investment Committee on Governance and Education chairperson Hon. Jack Wanami WamWboka
Regarding Kitale National Polytechnic which was represented by the principal, Akola John, the audit cited lack of a retirement scheme for permanent and contracted staff. A further review of the Polytechnic’s records revealed that the Institution did not have a pension scheme for the permanent staff and did not deduct or pay service gratuity to the contracted staff after the end of their contract periods.
A further review of the Polytechnic’s records revealed that the institution operated without an approved staff establishment which helps in managing staff affairs like staffing, posting, training, skills retention and succession. It was, therefore, not possible to establish the criteria used by the Polytechnic to fill positions in the various job groups and control over recruitment may not be functional
There was also unsupported council capacity building valued at Kshs.859,659 in respect of Board Members’ capacity building, which was paid as sitting allowances, transport and per diem to Board Members in February, 2020 while attending a two-day induction course in Kisumu.

However, the expenditure was not supported by an induction programme which targeted new members, while a competency needs assessment had not been done to inform the basis for the training.
A keen scrutiny of the expenditure ledger revealed differences between the ledgers balances and the amounts reflected under financial statements, due to poor record keeping, hence the accuracy and completeness of the financials could not be ascertained.
Committee Members found the financial management of the institution to be wanting. The chief accountant, Mr Philip Sogok was deemed incapable of holding office because of too many errors in the financial statement.
At the same time, Kibabii University led by their Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac Ipara Odeo, found themselves on the spotlight over ethnic composition, with 75% of employees belonging to a dominant ethnic community. This, the MPs noted, is in breach of the National Cohesion and Integration Act.
According to records tabled before the Committee, the total number of employees at the university stands at four hundred and forty (440) out of which, three hundred and thirty one (331) or 75% are members of the dominant ethnic community in the County.
Further, the university’s staggering 63% expenditure on employee compensation, violating fiscal responsibility laws, raised serious concerns.

The management was unequivocally accused of flouting regulations and breaching the law. The statements of receipts and payment reflected an expenditure of Kshs. 809,525,632 on compensation of employees representing 63% of the total receipts of Kshs.1,280,941,516 comprising revenues from both exchange and non-exchange transactions, and capital grants.
This contravenes Section 26(1a) of the Public Financial Management Act (National Government Regulations) 2012, which provides the limit for compensation of employees at 35% of the total receipts. Consequently, the management was cited for breach of the law.
Hon. Jack Wamboka concluded the meetings with a resolute warning to the institutions, emphasizing that there would be consequences over display of incompetence, financial irregularities, and violations of governance laws. The Committee continues with the probe on other institutions, tomorrow.

~ Parliament of Kenya ~

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