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KNBS On the Spot Over Missing Sh500m Census Fees

Kenya National Bureau and Statistics has failed to account for Sh500 million that was spent on allowances for security personnel who oversaw the 2019 population census after police refused to provide expenditure details.

KNBS director-general Macdonald Obudho told Parliament that it wired Sh500 million to the National Police Service to meet the allowances of 109,700 security officers who participated in the census.

Mr Obudho said despite the KNBS firing two letters last year to the Inspector-General of Police to provide the expenditure details for accountability, no response has been forthcoming.

The Sh500 million is part of Sh9.28 billion that the Auditor-General says was irregularly paid by the KNBS.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu, in a report to Parliament, said about half of the Sh18.5 billion spent on the Kenya Population and Housing Census (KHPC) in 2019 could not be sufficiently accounted for.

The audit revealed overpayment for census and security personnel, purchase of airtime, data bundles and SIM cards, short message service (SMS), M-Pesa payments to village elders as well as survey expenditure.

The auditor said the transfer of Sh499,817,500 paid was not supported by an agreement between the Kenya Police and the Bureau to inform the amount required for security.

Appearing before the Public Investments Committee (PIC), Mr Obudho revealed that out of the Sh500 million, Sh475 million was meant for the Kenya Police, Sh17 million went to the Prisons officers and Sh7.7 million was paid to non-security personnel.

“The KNBS wrote two letters in February and October 2021 to the Inspector General requesting for details of security officer deployed and paid.

“We also sought for expenditure of Sh7.7 million paid to non-security personnel but a response of IG is yet to be provided to us. We have not received any communication from IG,” Mr Obudho said.

Mr Obudho said the money was transferred to the National Police Service account at the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) and they were required to account for the funds.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) board director-general Macdonald George Obudho addresses journalists during the handing over ceremony at their offices in Nairobi on November 02, 2020. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

PIC chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir is scrutinising Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu’s audit on the KNBS expenditure of Sh10.8 billion during the 2019 population census.

Ms Gathungu has flagged the expenditure of Sh500 million paid to security officers during the exercise.

In the audit findings, Ms Gathungu said the imprest amount of Sh499,817,500 was surrendered on June 4, 2020.

She said the total amount included Sh10,072,000 as payment to non-security officers.

“There were no daily attendance registers to authenticate the identity of officers that rendered the services at various locations as proof of participation and hence the justification for payment,” Ms Gathungu said.

Ms Gathungu added there was no summary of the payment schedule breaking down the payments per region and station.



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