Auditor flags use of Covid-19 millions

Written by on 8 June 2022

The Ministry of Health and the National Treasury have been accused of misappropriating funds meant for Covid-19 related expenditure, including vaccines, research and psychosocial support to frontline workers.

In a summary report for the National Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies for 2020-2021, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu points out that various expenditures could not be confirmed while in some cases the funds were not utilised for the intended purposes.

On the Ministry of Health, Gathungu said she could not confirm whether Sh10.4 million incurred on printing and stationery of Covid-19 job aids, RH policy, care guidelines and screening forms under the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was properly utilised.

In the report tabled in the National Assembly last week, Gathungu also takes issue with an expenditure of Sh300 million incurred on the procurement of GAVI vaccines, which she said was not approved by the National Treasury, hence could not confirm the expenditure.

She also faults an agreement MOH entered to procure ten million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Sh10.96 billion but only a budgetary allocation of Sh7.6 billion was provided resulting in an over commitment of Sh3.4 billion.

“At the time of the Audit in December 2021, the country had only received 1,552,800 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson,” the report states. 

The Auditor also raises concerns with the procurement of Covid-19 ventilators and masks at a cost of Sh59 million using direct procurement yet there was no evidence of contract negotiation and award after the delivery of the equipment.

She notes that physical verification done on September 24 last year revealed that out of the 20 ventilators, 13 of them valued at Sh33.8 million were still at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) warehouses 17 months after emergency procurement yet no explanation had been provided for the failure to distribute them.

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