Arid Lands minister Mohammed Elmi

Arid Lands minister Mohammed Elmi

In Summary

  • Reports sent to anti-graft team to probe use of funds in 28 districts

 

The World Bank on Tuesday criticised a government audit into corruption in its Sh10 billion-funded project.

Spokesman David Theis said the bank disagreed with a report by local auditors that showed only Sh48 million may have been lost through corruption in the Arid Lands ministry project.

“We do not agree with the Kenyan Internal Audit Department’s calculation of ineligible expenditures on the Arid Lands project,” he said on Tuesday.

“The bank has sent a team of experts to review the materials and records in the audit department’s possession and assess their conclusions.”

The ultimate determination as to whether expenditures were ineligible, he said, would be based on the agreements framing the World Bank’s involvement in the Arid Lands project.

The team of three auditors from the bank arrived in Nairobi on Monday and is expected to hold talks with the Treasury on the differing reports.

An earlier audit by experts from the World Bank, established that Sh362 million may have been spent on fraudulent transactions.

But the government audit by the Treasury, scaled down the extent of suspected corruption to Sh48 million, representing an 86 per cent reduction.

The two separate audits of the project have been sent to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for investigations into how funds meant to improve livelihoods in 28 districts could have been misappropriated.

Swift response

Mr Theis said the bank had strong mechanisms to detect, prevent and deter fraud and corruption.

The project was suspended last year over the corruption allegations.

“We respond swiftly when we find wrongdoing,” he said.

Arid Lands minister Mohammed Elmi has backed the draft report by the Internal Audit Department.

Finance permanent secretary Joseph Kinyua said a key outcome of the audit review was the confirmation that the total ineligible expenditure amounted to Sh48 million.

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