Thursday, November 30, 2023

How Sh. 15 billion for class one laptops was ‘lost’

Billions of shillings meant for free class one laptops cannot be accounted for, the Auditor General has said.

Up to Sh. 15 billion is feared lost in unsupported payments, according to a report tabled in Parliament.

And at least Sh. 603 million meant for laptops that were to be used as proof of concept in the ambitious Government programme has also been lost.

The report showed that after the supply and commission of the laptops, the implementing committee went around to inspect the laptops but found they had factory defects.

The Ministry of Information Communication and Technology paid Sh. 18,377,274,086 in respect of the Digital Literacy Programme devices, out of which payments totalling Sh. 15,515,069,367 were supported by nine letters of credit whose payment vouchers were not made available for audit.

As a result, it has not been possible to confirm the expenditure totalling Sh. 15,151,069,367.

Further, the financial statement performance reflected directors costs of Sh. 14,422,928 paid to board members on diverse dates.

Supporting analysis indicated the payees and purpose of payment were not made available for audit review. The ministry also spent Sh. 7,875,154 in legal fees paid to a law firm during the year under review.

But there was also no evidence to show that the law firm was cleared by the Attorney General as required by law.

Included in the general expense figure of Sh. 203,136,419 under Note 8 was Sh. 13,998,208 in respect of domestic and foreign travel expenses whose analysis and supporting documents were not available for audit.

Further, an expenditure of Sh. 167,223,283 could not be explained as part of it was spent on travel expenses by top Government officials.

There was also Sh. 67,537,503 in travel costs whose supporting documents were not made available. The travel cost was attributed to project inspection.

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