Tech-savvy fraudsters suspected in 10Billion cash missing in treasury

During the grilling of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu by the Senate, Sh1 billion in allocations were uncovered in the county’s financial statements.

Irregularities, including budget items purporting to fund, among others, State House Affairs were errors introduced by the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS).

At the heart of the dispute is the whereabouts of an estimated Sh10 billion which was irregularly approved and supposedly spent by 11 counties, but which governors of affected counties have disowned.Ifmis

It is alleged that finance chiefs from 11 counties logged into the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis), one of the most secure government structures, various times in the last financial year and instead missed the buttons that directed them to their county records and instead pressed the national government accounts.

The county ministers then keyed into the system that only grants access and rights, depending on a user’s responsibility, to billions of shillings of erroneous budget lines that do not exist in devolved governments.

It is reported that the amount stolen is Sh10 billion.

Some of the officers would key hundreds of millions of shillings into non-existent State House functions, free primary education, economic policy and national planning, rail transport, government clearing services, among others.

Ideally, Ifmis should reject any allocations not approved and never allow expenditure unless an entity has the funds.

As expenditure happened, the system would then automatically generate reports that would be accessed by the office of the Auditor-General later.Image result for Integrated Financial Management System kenya

The system is supposed to lock out unauthorised access and prevent anyone from making changes or adjustments on another entity’s budget.

Governors say the DCI should probe how this system was infiltrated.

Kakamega County boss and the Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya says his colleagues read mischief in the saga that has raised queries on the safety of Ifmis, a system that was to bring transparency and close the taps on the theft of public funds.

They are also concerned that their budgets may have been used by tech-savvy fraudsters at the National Treasury to hide stolen billions of shillings but who forgot to regularise them in time before the auditor came calling.

Mr Oparanya says the explanation by the Treasury that county officers may have pressed wrong buttons when feeding data into the system does not add up since the executives are not supposed to have access to the national government records.

“If it is true that county officials had access to the national budget, then we have a serious problem,” Mr Oparanya said.

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