NHIF on the spot in car park probe

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is on the spot for failing to explain how the cost of constructing its multi-storey car park in Nairobi went up by about 340 percent.

According to a report by Auditor-General Edward Ouko for the year ending June 30, 2016, Sh900 million was budgeted for the entire project on May 2002 and the contract awarded to a local construction firm.

However, it was not until 2008 that the project initially scheduled for completion in August 2003, was completed.

COST INFLATED

By the time of its completion, Sh3.4 billion had been spent.

As if this was not enough, a further Sh626.6 million and Sh4.7 million was incurred in the financial years 2009/10 and 2010/11 respectively on the project.

The additional expenditures increased the total sum to Sh4 billion.

The report, tabled in the National Assembly last week by Majority Leader Aden Duale, further indicates that immediately the contract was awarded in 2002, its sum was revised upwards to Sh1.2 billion, representing approximately 30 percent of the original sum of Sh900 million.

“Although the issue has been discussed by the Public Investment Committee (PIC), no action appears to have been taken on the PIC recommendations as per the 19th report,” Mr Ouko’s report says.

EACC

The National Assembly watchdog committee however recommended that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission institute investigations into the project with a view to preferring charges against those found culpable.

The report was adopted in 2015 but so far no action has been taken against those involved by the responsible government agencies.

The auditor-general has also raised questions on the NHIF’s 10-hectare land in Karen valued at Sh298.6 million.

INVESTIGATION

The report notes that the ownership of the land is in dispute and the matter is in court.

According to the auditor general, although the issue was discussed by the PIC, no action was taken on the committee’s recommendations in its 19th report that the National Lands Commission conducts further investigations into the matter within six months.

Despite Sh1.4 billion being set aside for drawings and designs for a proposed resource centre, construction is yet to start since the land was acquired 14 years ago.

“As noted in the previous year, the management has not commenced because of lack of approval from the parent ministry.

“It has not been possible to ascertain the ownership status of the parcel of the land in dispute,” the report said.

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