NHIF on the spot in car park probe

Ouko’s re­port ques­tions a 340 per cent in­crease in the cost of build­ing the fa­cil­ity and why no ac­tion has been taken

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY DAVID MWERE dmwere@ke.na­tion­media.com

Au­di­tor also ques­tions a Sh299m par­cel of land whose own­er­ship he says is in dis­pute

The Na­tional Hos­pi­tal In­sur­ance Fund (NHIF) is on the spot for fail­ing to ex­plain how the cost of con­struct­ing its multi-storey car park in Nairobi went up by about 340 per cent.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Au­di­tor-gen­eral Ed­ward Ouko for the year end­ing June 30, 2016, Sh900 mil­lion was bud­geted for the en­tire project in May 2002 and the con­tract awarded to a lo­cal con­struc­tion firm.

How­ever, it was not un­til 2008 that the project ini­tially sched­uled for com­ple­tion in Au­gust 2003, was com­pleted.

By the time of its com­ple­tion, Sh3.4 bil­lion had been spent. As if this was not enough, a fur­ther Sh626.6 mil­lion and Sh4.7 mil­lion was in­curred in the fi­nan­cial years 2009/10 and 2010/11 re­spec­tively on the project.

The ad­di­tional ex­pen­di­tures in­creased the to­tal sum to Sh4 bil­lion.

The re­port, tabled in the Na­tional As­sem­bly last week by Ma­jor­ity Leader Aden Duale, fur­ther in­di­cates that im­me­di­ately the con­tract was awarded in 2002, its sum was re­vised up­wards to Sh1.2 bil­lion, rep­re­sent­ing ap­prox­i­mately 30 per cent of the orig­i­nal sum of Sh900 mil­lion. “Al­though the is­sue has been dis­cussed by the Public In­vest­ment Com­mit­tee (PIC), no ac­tion ap­pears to have been taken on the PIC rec­om­men­da­tions as per the 19th re­port,” Mr Ouko’s re­port states.

The Na­tional As­sem­bly watch­dog com­mit­tee, how­ever, rec­om­mended that the Ethics and Anti-cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion in­sti­tute in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the project with a view to pre­fer­ring charges against those found cul­pa­ble.

The re­port was adopted in 2015 but so far no ac­tion has been taken against those in­volved by the re­spon­si­ble govern­ment agen­cies.

The au­di­tor-gen­eral has also raised ques­tions on the NHIF’S 10-hectare land in Karen val­ued at Sh298.6 mil­lion.

The re­port notes that the own­er­ship of the land is in dis­pute and the mat­ter is in court. Ac­cord­ing to the au­di­tor gen­eral, al­though the is­sue was dis­cussed by the PIC, no ac­tion was taken on the com­mit­tee’s rec­om­men­da­tions in its 19th re­port that the Na­tional Lands Com­mis­sion con­ducts fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter within six months.

De­spite Sh1.4 bil­lion be­ing set aside for draw­ings and de­signs for a pro­posed re­source cen­tre, con­struc­tion is yet to start since the land was ac­quired 14 years ago.

“As noted in the pre­vi­ous year, the man­age­ment has not com­menced be­cause of lack of ap­proval from the par­ent min­istry. It has not been pos­si­ble to as­cer­tain the own­er­ship sta­tus of the par­cel of the land in dis­pute,” the re­port said.

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