Governors call for forensic audit of financial management system

That, the Council of Governors added, had further been compounded by poor coordination of departments running the system, including the National Treasury, the Central Bank of Kenya and devolved units.

Since the inception of the system, popularly known as Ifmis, bank accounts of five county governments have been hit by heists, with fraudsters stealing hundreds of millions of shillings, according to the governors.

Governors have called for a forensic audit of the integrated financial management system.

In a statement on Sunday, the governors said the system – introduced to reduce corruption in the government payment structure – had experienced “serious hitches, leading to pilferage of billions of taxpayers’ shillings”.

“The audit will answer these questions and, hopefully, identify the cracks in the system to ensure the incidents do not recur,” the statement by the governors added.

“This is not to say that county governments do not want the system. When a wall has a crack, you don’t pull the whole house down. You fix the crack.”

Kilifi, Siaya, Kakamega and Kitui counties have been on the spot over the loss of funds from their accounts.

In Kilifi, Governor Amason Kingi has been questioned by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission detectives over the loss of Sh51 million, which he and other governors have blamed on the system.

The county bosses have previously called for the removal of the system, saying it has aided theft.

But in their statement, the governors argued that while the system had experienced glitches, scrapping it would do little to reduce mega theft.

“On Ifmis, we must appreciate that this is not just a county responsibility. Both levels of government need to accept ownership,” added the statement.

The audit, governors argued, should also include county government accounts at CBK and at the devolved unit level “to establish at what point the money goes missing”.

Some of the questions they want answered are on the safety of the system and its capacity to detect and block hacks and manipulation.

They said the audit would tell if public funds channelled through the system were safe.

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