Governor Abdi Guyo’s tenure in Isiolo County has been marred by corruption and poor governance.

Governor Abdi Guyo

Under the leadership of Governor Abdi Guyo, Isiolo County has been marred by corruption and poor governance.

The recent financial audit of the county’s operations reveals a disturbing pattern of economic mismanagement, illegal practices, and a lack of accountability.

This article sheds light on the serious discrepancies and irregularities in the audit report.

Isiolo County

Financial Discrepancies and Mismanagement

The audit report highlights numerous inaccuracies in Isiolo County’s financial statements for the fiscal year 2022-2023.

There are significant unexplained variances between the budgeted and actual figures.

For instance, the county’s budget statement shows budgeted revenue of Kshs 5,223,402,709, matching the actual receipts.

However, a closer examination reveals that the county actually realized only 97.75% of its revenue projections, amounting to Kshs. 6,316,282,100, against the approved target of Kshs. 6,461,031,197.

This results in an unexplained shortfall of Kshs. 1,092,879,391. There are also inconsistencies between the reported total receipts and payments.

The financial statements reflect total receipts of Kshs. 5,223,402,709 and total payments of Kshs. 4,849,600,633, whereas another statement lists these figures as Kshs. 5,848,704,848 and Kshs. 5,446,853,315, respectively.

This discrepancy amounts to an unexplained variance of Kshs.625,302,139 in receipts and Kshs.597,252,682 in payments.

These financial misstatements raise serious questions about the integrity of the county’s financial reporting and the transparency of its fiscal management.

Unsupported and Irregular Expenditures

The county’s statement of receipts and payments includes unsupported and irregular expenditures.

A glaring example is the transfer of Kshs. 1,501,486,520 to other government entities, which is not reconciled with the cash flow statement showing only Kshs. 904,233,838, leading to an unexplained difference of Kshs. 597,252,682.

Furthermore, the audit report reveals that compensation for employees includes Kshs.90,275,000 for temporary employees, but the expenditure ledgers only reflect Kshs.83,520,000, creating an unreconciled variance of Kshs.6,755,000.

Additionally, the statement of cash flows indicates a net increase in cash and cash equivalents of Kshs.999,104,215, while the actual net difference is only Kshs.764,615,509, resulting in an unexplained variance of Kshs.234,488,706.

These irregularities indicate potential misuse of funds and lack of proper financial controls.

Violation of Public Finance Management Act

Governor Abdi Guyo’s administration has also violated the Public Finance Management Act.

The county made payments amounting to Kshs. 168,128,800 from the emergency fund, exceeding the legal limit of 2% of the county’s previous year’s revenue.

This action breaches Section 113 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

Moreover, the county failed to provide the required emergency needs assessment and assistance requests for audit review, further indicating non-compliance with legal provisions.

Revenue Collection and Management Issues

The audit report identifies serious flaws in the county’s revenue management.

The county collected Kshs. 152,700,178 as own-source revenue without an approved County Finance Bill for 2022, violating Section 132 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

Additionally, there was an unexplained delay in transferring Kshs. 14,064,615 from revenue collection accounts to the County Revenue Fund, contravening Regulation 81 of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015.

Unregulated Procurement Practices

Irregular procurement practices are rampant in Isiolo County. The Department of Health Services engaged suppliers for amounts exceeding the legal thresholds without proper procurement procedures.

Payments of Kshs.3,900,000 for cleansing and sanitary materials and Kshs.3,500,000 for medical records and stationery were made through requests for quotations, which should not exceed Kshs.3,000,000 for goods and services according to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Regulations, 2020.

The lack of supporting documents like receipt vouchers and inspection reports raises concerns about the authenticity and necessity of these procurements.

Mismanagement of Assets and Non-Compliance

The county’s asset management is in disarray. There is no updated asset register, and the assets of the defunct County Council of Isiolo have not been incorporated into the current records.

This lack of documentation and proper management violates Regulation 132 of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015.

Moreover, many assets remain uninsured, contrary to Section 160 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015, putting them at risk of loss or damage.

Failure to Adhere to Fiscal Responsibilities

The county’s wage bill exceeds the legal limit, representing 38.4% of total receipts, while the law stipulates a maximum of 35%.

Additionally, the county continues to employ individuals beyond the mandatory retirement age of 60, violating Public Service Commission Regulations.

This overemployment exacerbates the fiscal strain on the county’s resources.

Lack of Transparency and Accountability

Governor Abdi Guyo’s administration has failed to prepare and submit crucial financial statements, including those for revenue collected and the emergency fund.

This non-compliance with Section 165 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012, underscores a lack of transparency and accountability in the county’s financial management.

Isiolo County has been called out for managing six commercial bank accounts

The Office of the Controller of Budget (COB) flagged Isiolo County for using six commercial bank accounts and manually processing Sh27.11 million in personnel payments, contravening legal requirements to use the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database (IPPD) system.

COB Margaret Nyakang’o emphasized the risks of manual payments and urged the county to expedite IPPD integration and unified personnel numbers.

Isiolo’s practices violate Regulation 82(1)(b) of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations 2015, which mandates maintaining county bank accounts at the Central Bank of Kenya.

The County Public Service Board was also urged to regulate staff engagements in line with Section 74 of the County Governments Act of 2012.

Additionally, Nyakang’o criticized the late submission of financial reports by the county Treasury and highlighted a significant backlog of pending bills totaling Sh432.25 million as of December 2023.

For the first half of FY 2023–24, Isiolo’s budget was Sh5.75 billion, with Sh4.01 billion for recurrent expenditure and Sh1.74 billion for development.

The county received Sh2.03 billion as an equitable share and raised Sh168.23 million from its own source of revenue.

Notable expenditures included Sh105.42 million on domestic travel and Sh28.35 million on foreign travel, prompting calls for prudent financial management.

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