MOE on the Spot Over Misappropriation of Education Funds
The State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education is on the spot over irregular disbursements of free education funds and subsidies respectively as well as Implementation of the School Feeding Programme. Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in a report for the 2021/22 ﬁnancial year said there were various anomalies in the disbursement of funds and in the procurement of foodstuffs for various schools.
With regards to Free Primary Education Funds she said that her ofﬁce is not in a position to conﬁrm the authenticity of the Sh9 billion that was disbursed to schools while on the School Feeding Programme she noted that the money in question amounts to Sh1.2 billion Reads the report: “The transfers include an amount of Sh9,062,694,606 relating to funds disbursed for free primary schools during the year. However, analysis of the Free Primary Education data revealed various anomalies.” It adds: “The statement of receipts and payments reflects an amount of Sh30, 546,359,898 in respect of transfers to other Government Units.
The expenditure includes an amount of Sh19, 971,035,325 in respect of transfers to National Government entities out of which an amount of Sh1,196,296,000 was spent on the purchase of various foodstuffs for the school feeding programme.”
Duplicate bank accounts On free primary education the anomalies noted include schools having duplicate bank accounts, Schools Sharing similar Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Registration Numbers, Schools either not having TSC Codes or having unknown codes. With regards to disbursements of the funds to Schools with duplicate bank accounts, the report notes that despite 38 schools sharing bank accounts they received disbursements totalling Sh1.2 million while 436 schools without TSC codes received a total disbursement of Sh14.7 million during the year under review.
Another 3,486 schools that were assigned a TSC code with different code formats from those provided by the State Department received disbursements amounting to Sh102.3 million while another 24,119 schools that were sharing TSC registration numbers received disbursements amounting to Sh737.7 million during the year under review. Said Gathungu: “In the circumstances, the accuracy and authenticity of the disbursements of Sh9, 062,694,606 for free primary education funds for the year ended 30 June, 2022 could not be conﬁrmed.”
On disbursement of Free Day Secondary School Education Subsidies, she noted that a review of the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) system in relation to the capitation disbursements schedule to secondary schools revealed various anomalies. According to her the anomalies include disbursements of Sh6.3 million to day Secondary Schools that shared bank accounts, which continued to recur in subsequent disbursements without being detected and corrected.
In addition, she also noted that a review of the schools lists on capitation per quarter reports revealed six schools that operated one bank account for both operations and tuition funds received total payments of Sh40.9 million. “In the circumstances, the accuracy and authenticity of the subsidies totaling Sh47, 208,815 for free day secondary school education could not be conﬁrmed,” added Gathungu.
With regards to procurement of School Feeding Supplies that included 107 000 bags of rice comprising of 47,000 bags – Ahero Sindano and 60,000 bags of Pishori rice, 25,749 bags of 90kg beans, 12,780 jerricans of 20 litres, 5,112 bales of 20kg salt and 194,421 bags of 25kg corn soya blend, Gathungu regretted that the State Department adopted a framework contract from Public Works and requested quotations from only one ﬁrm for supply of corn soya from a list of 28 suppliers, three ﬁrms for supply of salt and ﬁve ﬁrms for supply of vegetable oil.
This she noted is contrary to provisions of Section 114(1) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 which provides that a procuring entity may enter into a framework through open tender if the procurement value is within the thresholds prescribed under regulation to this Act.