National Assembly’s Public Investment Service(PIC) has demanded that 12 former Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) board members to each refund Sh100,000 received as Christmas shopping vouchers.
While demanding the 2017 funds, PIC also directed Mercy Wanjau, the acting CA director-general, to surcharge the Universal Service Advisory Council members who were given Christmas shopping vouchers worth Sh900,000.
“The current director-general should surcharge those who were paid irregular allowances identified by the office of Auditor-General,” Abdulswamad Nassir, who chairs PIC, said in the latest report on audited financial statements for 48 State corporations.
In the finacial year 2016/2017, the retired Auditor-General Edward Ouko flagged the irregular expenditure in the CA’s books of accounts.
Former Auditor-General said the payments totalling Sh2.1 million were made without the approval of the parent ministry and the Treasury.
The auditor had poked holes in the financial books after it emerged that CA directors had galloped Sh47.2 million in the year to June 2017.
On the commission’s defence, Acting director Ms Wanjau said, while appearing before PIC to respond to the audit queries, that the Kenya Information Communications Act (KICA) Act 2012 gives the board a mandate to pay salaries, allowances and other charges to the authority’s staff and directors.
Her sentiments would later be squashed by PIC Chair who stated that the payments to directors must still be set by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
“The committee observed that as much as the law allows the board to prepare financial statements to remunerate themselves, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) is mandated under the Constitution and the SRC Act to determine or set such remunerations,” Mr Nassir said.
In other ralated news, the High Court is set to rule on the fate of the same former CA directors in a case where they are alleged to have benefited from irregular disposal of MacBook laptops and iPads.