Audit Exposes Grand Wastage Of Public Funds At The Commission For University Education (CUE)

All is not well at the Commission on University Education with the Secretary and CEO Prof. Mike Kuria coming into the spotlight over misuse of public funds. Reports reveal that government investigative agencies are looking at expenditures for repairs and maintenance amounting to Ksh. 3,718,294, the management has however failed to produce any documents in support of the expenses. 

Documents that were availed for audit do not identify the service provider, making it impossible to review the selection and award of the supplier. Further included in this expenditure is an amount of Ksh. 251,195 for the purchase of sanitisers, which was wrongly charged to repairs and maintenance expenses.

In addition, an amount of Ksh. 1,356,942 was spent on the construction of the perimeter wall for Loresho House, while another amount of Ksh. 468,896 was spent on the renovation of the same house. However, the ownership and proof of use of the house for the benefit of the Commission cannot be ascertained as the land ownership documents are not available. In the circumstances, the accuracy and regularity of repairs and maintenance expenditures could not be confirmed. The commission also spent Ksh. 2,020,000 on sitting allowances, which are not supported by minutes detailing attendance and deliberations at the meetings. In the circumstances, the regularity of the remuneration of the Commissioner’s expenditure cannot be confirmed.

The commission also approved payments to resource persons amounting to Ksh. 13,894,076; however, the resource persons’ payments, which include accommodation, honoraria, and sitting allowances amounting to Ksh. 1,560,000, Ksh. 9,627,300, and Ksh. 2,045,240, respectively, have not been supported by any legal or statutory documentation of the rates used. In the circumstances, the accuracy and regularity of the contracted service expenditure could not be confirmed.

Further, the Commission issued imprests totalling Ksh. 552,152 to staff before the previous ones were surrendered. This was contrary to Regulation 93(8) of the Public Finance Management (National Government) Regulations, 2015.

Available records at the human resources department indicated that the dominant ethnic community employed by the Commission constituted 35% (consisting of 29 employees in permanent and pensionable terms). The Commission had contravened Section 7(2) of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission Act, 2008, which states that no public establishment shall have more than one-third of its staff from the same ethnic community.