CoG to pe­ti­tion Se­nate over Trea­sury ‘lax­ity’ to probe Ifmis

Safe­guards must be pro­vided to pre­vent fraud. PIN num­bers to ac­cess the ac­counts should also be shared. Why are they cen­tralised? – Gover­nor Peter Munya

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Parliament - GIDEON KETER @ArapGKeter

Coun­cil of Gov­er­nors chair­man Peter Munya yes­ter­day ac­cused a se­lect com­mit­tee headed by Trea­sury CS Henry Rotich of lax­ity in au­dit­ing and re­view­ing how the Ifmis was de­vel­oped.

He ap­peared be­fore the Se­nate’s Pub­lic Ac­counts and In­vest­ment com­mit­tee yes­ter­day. Munya said the CoG will file a pe­ti­tion in the Se­nate seek­ing to com­pel the Trea­sury to au­dit the Ifmis, say­ing the sys­tem has many short­com­ings which need to be ad­dressed.

He said the CoG will file the pe­ti­tion on Fri­day, which will be han­dled by Se­nate’s Fi­nance Com­mit­tee.

“The is­sues be­ing raised by gov­er­nors are gen­uine. There were in­ad­e­quate prepa­ra­tions when the sys­tem was adopted. Trea­sury has not ad­e­quately han­dled the is­sues,” Munya said.

He said the sub-com­mit­tee formed to re­view and au­dit the Ifmis has only met twice and is yet to sub­mit a report with rec­om­men­da­tions.

Munya ques­tioned why up to 10 mod­ules of Ifmis – in­clud­ing one on gen­er­at­ing fi­nan­cial state­ments – are yet to be ac­ti­vated.

He said the sys­tem should be strength­ened to curb the ris­ing cases of fraud, adding that most cases of fraud take place us­ing ac­counts held at the Cen­tral Bank.

“Safe­guards must be pro­vided to pre­vent fraud. PIN num­bers to ac­cess the ac­counts should also be shared. Why are they cen­tralised? The keys are never kept by one per­son. Ifmis at the mo­ment is prone to fraud,” Munya said.

He de­fended the 47 county bosses, say­ing they should not be told to ac­count for money stolen through Ifmis. Munya said gov­er­nors nei­ther have PINs nor the au­thor­ity to in­cur ex­pen­di­ture.

Munya warned that if the sys­tem is not prop­erly se­cured, the coun­try will sink into a fi­nan­cial shut­down and money meant for ser­vices “will be stolen”.

On Mon­day, Machakos Gover­nor Al­fred Mu­tua told the same com­mit­tee the prob­lems ex­pe­ri­enced through Ifmis pay­ments have caused huge pend­ing bills.

“Ifmis is run by peo­ple, by hu­man be­ings, and it is shut by hu­man be­ings. If it is shut in Nairobi, you can scream all you can ... The late dis­burse­ment of money to the coun­ties has been com­pounded by chal­lenges of the Ifmis. When we have money in our ac­counts to pay bills, the sys­tem is down,” he said.

The CoG has linked the gov­ern­ment to re­cent cases of loss of money through the Ifmis.

On Tues­day last week, Munya al­leged the gov­ern­ment was work­ing with a crim­i­nal gang to “siphon” money through the sys­tem.

/HEZRON NJOROGE

Meru Gover­nor Peter Munya with EALA MPs af­ter ap­pear­ing be­fore the Se­nate Pub­lic Ac­counts and In­vest­ments Com­mit­tee

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