ICT Authority Caught in Irregular Spending of Grants

ICT authority hacked government websites

Just a few months ago, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu flagged more than Ksh.12billion in expenditure at the state department for ICT. According to her report, there had been significant expenditures that happened in that ministry but lacked the necessary supporting documents. This included Sh10 billion paid to contractors for the Konza Technocity Project in the 2018- 2019 financial year.

“No details in respect to the date the payments were made by the banks, details of authorization to the banks, payments, and bank debit advices,” said the Auditor General.

In a new audit for the year to June 2022, the Auditor General is putting The Information Communication Authority (ICTA) on the hot seat over irregular spending of grants totaling up to 123.9 million. She further raised alarm over over misclassified training and capacity-building expenses.

Under some of the special projects by the ICTA, Ms. Gathangu notes that management cannot explain whether there was prior authority as per financial regulations during payments they conducted. Some of the officers involved were receiving a daily and subsistence allowance claim of Sh958,220 each.

These projects include the National Fibre Optic Backbone Infrastructure (Nofbi) whose functions were under Telkom Kenya before they were recently handed over to the government. This was a project that was started in 2005 aimed at connecting broadband fibre to major towns in Kenya.

“Under the circumstances, the legality, propriety, and justification of the loans totaling Sh16.5 billion whose repayment by the ICT Authority has been funded by the National Treasury to date amounting to Sh727 million, and in effect the Kenyan taxpayers, cannot be ascertained.” Said Ms Gathungu in an earlier report.

Amidst a parliamentary inquiry on such expenditures on the National Fibre Optic Backbone Infrastructure project, the Ministry of ICT and ICTA are in a disagreement on how exactly to split management from Telkom.

Telkom Kenya is reported to have collected Sh1.7 billion in the years they have provided connectivity to the 47 counties, but apparently, they have been operating without a license