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Auditor-General faults payment made for Sanitary Pads

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has revealed that the Gender department made payment for sanitary pads in an improper manner.

According to the Auditor General, the payment in question amounts to Sh. 101m.

The 2019-20 Financial Year report reveals that the payments made were to clear other pending bills that were carried forward from the previous fiscal period.

“The payments made did not have proof or the required supporting documents,” read part of the report.

The report cites missing documents such as requisitions for procurement, monitoring reports, implementation committee minutes confirming the supply and receipt, delivery status reports, signed store ledgers confirming receipts, performance bonds and the Kenya Bureau of Standards compliance certificate, inspection and acceptance reports.

The State Department of Gender Affairs is charged with acquiring and distributing sanitary towels to female students in public primary, special primary and secondary schools.

The Ministry of Education started the Sanitary Towels Programme in 2011, and have been procuring and distributing sanitary towels to girls who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

According to the Basic Education Amendment Act (2016), the government is tasked with providing free, sufficient, and high-quality sanitary towels. This was in a bid to reduce the number of girls who drop out of school due to lacking menstruation because they do not have sanitary pads.

The government should also provide a safe, sanitary and environmentally friendly method of changing and disposing of sanitary towels.

According to the Auditor-General’s report, unsupported expenditures were at Sh. 17,797,649 for printing, advertising and information supplies and services (Sh 175,088), communication supplies and services (Sh 339,501), and domestic travel and subsistence (Sh. 1,283,060).

The Auditor-General also said Sh. 1,545,572 which was paid on October 8, 2019, for ICT equipment and networking services also violated ICT Circular No MICT/A/10/3 VOL.L that was dated January 24, 2019.

“The Circular directed that all ICT procurements should be done through the State Department for ICT. No approvals or exemptions from the Ministry of ICT were made available for audit examination,” said the Auditor General.

The report stipulates that the State Department had a budget of Sh. 21,609,270 under the Ministry of ICT intended for purchasing computers, printers, and other IT equipment, photocopiers, and ICT networking and communications equipment for the fiscal year 2019-20.

However, the allocation was not used by the management and no explanation was provided for the same.

This was an infringement of the Presidential Procurement Directives on ICT equipment, and no value was derived from what was an unutilized budgetary allocation of Sh. 21,609,270.

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