Siaya County Speaker & Clerk Accused Of Spending Funds On Unnecessary Hotel Meetings

Siaya County Assembly Speaker George Okode and County Assembly Acting Clerk Eric Ogenga are being accused by county residents of gross mismanagement for failing to stop the looting of public funds, the Clerk is the Chief Executive Officer of the Assembly. According to sources at the county, the two failed to ensure that county funds are secure when the assembly spent Ksh. 109,764,972 on domestic travel and subsistence allowances on MCAs.

This amount includes Ksh. 5,811,600 in respect of the hire of hotel and subsistence allowances to Members of the County Assembly and staff undertaking general oversight committee meetings outside the County.  This is contrary to The National Treasury Circular No. 20/2015 of 4th November 2015, which prohibits out-of-station events to discuss strategy documents, consultants’ reports, or any other assignments that would ordinarily be done in local offices. Our contact at the county added there was no justification for holding the meeting outside Siaya County as the activity listed could have been held locally.

A resident said that it was not even possible to confirm the validity of the expenditure of Ksh. 5,811,600 as a proper charge to public funds and that value for money was realized. Sauces also revealed to The Weekly Vision that cases of the late remittance of statutory deductions are rampant last year when the County Assembly of Siaya incurred an expenditure of Ksh. 41,644 and Ksh.208, 222 for the payment of interest and penalties respectively all totalling Ksh.249, 866 for the delay in remitting pay as you earn (PAYE) tax deducted amounting to Sh4, 164,455 to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

In addition, information available indicates that Local Authority Provided Fund (LAPFUND) is also demanding interest of Ksh.3, 242,630 from the unremitted principal amount of Ksh.162,613 which has accrued over several years and no reason has been provided for the delay in making remittances or for non-payment of outstanding amounts.

In addition, the amounts due to LAPFUND have not been included among the pending bills as of June 2021; therefore the Management was in breach of the law and may continue to lose public funds through penalties and interest. The assembly also paid Ksh.5m to the County Assembly Forum (CAF). However, there is no provision in the law requiring the activities of the County Assembly Forum to be financed by the County Assemblies.

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