An audit report by Patrick Masika has revealed that senior managers at the ICT Authority colluded with a private bank to steal more than Ksh.160 Million in just six months.
The ICT Authority is a State Corporation under the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology which is headed by Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru. ICT Authority was established in August 2013 with the task of rationalising and streamlining the management of all Government of Kenya ICT functions, one such function is the overseeing of e-government services.
The audit report claims that the top managers defrauded the agency millions of shillings through cash transfers that were masked as employee deductions. The auditor revealed that all the withdrawals made from the agency to the private bank accounts were just below Ksh.500,000 which is the threshold that does not require approval from the CEO of the ICT Authority.
Mr Masika’s report indicates that there were hundreds of withdrawals made from the agency’s bank account using falsified documents, transferred to the same bank account number but bearing different account names. Mr Masika said that “collusion with banks is needed for money to be wired to the same account number under different names.” He went ahead to say that the managers used Sacco societies to send money from the authority’s account to the private account giving the illusion that the money was coming from staff deductions for their savings society.
The audit report shows that most of the money stolen had been budgeted for internship opportunities under the Presidential Digital Talent Programme, which targetted 400 engineering and ICT graduates. Mr Masika also mentions in the report that the theft could have been happening for a longer period than the 6 months he can prove.
The managers mentioned in the report each paid themselves Ksh.20 million under the disguise of Diem allowances into their personal bank accounts from the private account that was used to defraud money from the agency.
Update: Robert Mugo, CEO ICT Authority has released a statement regarding the fraud. He has assured that the top managers involved will be appropriately dealt with and action against them is being taken.