Internal auditor Bernard Muchere
An internal auditor at the Ministry of health has today said he cannot confirm exactly how much money the ministry lost in questionable contract payments.
Mr Bernard Muchere who appeared before the senate health committee today morning said he cannot authoritatively confirm whether the ministry lost Sh5.2 billion or Sh3.2billion unless he conducts a forensic audit.
He was responding to members questions who wanted to know the exact amount that could have been lost.
“Were you able to establish how much money was lost in your final report? We hear of double payments and colossal amounts not being accounted for,” asked the committee’s vice chairperson Zipporah Kittony (Nominated).
“A forensic audit can confirm whether money was lost or not. The normal audit only raises the red flag for management action,” Muchere responded.
He however maintained that there was non-compliance with the law, which alludes to misappropriation of public funds.
“If the law is supposed to prevent something and someone overrides that law, what is the supposed end result?” Muchere posed.
Mr Muchere had initially stood by his leaked report which indicated up to Sh5.2 billion could have been lost according to interim audit findings.
However, CS Cleopa Mailu had said only Sh3.2 billion had been querried.
Migori senator Wilfred Machage who also chairs the committee asked if the final audit presented covered the 2015/16 financial transactions at the Ministry or just the interim audit report that exposed financial impropriety that included double payments and use of fake vouchers for payments.
He asked the auditor to confirm if he had detected that up to Sh30 million was misappropriated in the laboratory after fake documentations were used to undertake shoddy transactions.
The auditor said he had concentrated on issues in the interim audit report and a more comprehensive audit report that covers all the departments in the Ministry will be ready by January.
“I have a file referred to me by the Cabinet Secretary. We are still doing an audit. The Ministry has many departments. I will finally complete the audit and give the report to the accounting officer,” Muchere said.
Muchere said he is still interrogating the National Quality Labaratory, the government chemist, and radiation protection as the departments to determine the value for money.
“I am very much concerned with these departments. I have enough reasons to have queries in their financial management,” he told the committee.
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