Billions of shillings allocated to the controversial Sh38 billion Managed Equipment Services have never been paid to suppliers despite the national government routinely deducting the money from counties, according to the Auditor General report.
The Office of the Auditor General says there is no evidence the money was paid to those who supplied the equipment even though there has been an allocation each year, with the National Treasury deducting the funds from the 47 counties’ equitable share
A Senate ad hoc committee heard that auditors have been unable to confirm the nature of equipment that were to be leased and the health facilities that were to benefit because the agreements have never been presented for auditing.
“Treasury has routinely deducted the money but there is no evidence that it was paid to the suppliers,” Mr Anthony Muriuki, manager in charge of audit at the Auditor General’s office, told the committee investigating the circumstances under which the tender was awarded.
Under the programme, each county was initially paying Sh95 million per year, which was revised to Sh200 million per year.
This means that counties pay cumulatively Sh9.4 billion per year up from Sh4.5 billion, when the programme started in 2015.
The money, which is deducted directly from county allocation, is supposed to be paid to private suppliers by Treasury.
A total of Sh29.1 billion – Sh4.5 million per year from 2015-16 to 2017-18, Sh9.8 billion in 2018-19 and 6.2 billion in the current financial year – has so far been deducted from the counties.
The project entails leasing of assorted medical equipment – renal, laboratory, ICU, radiology and theatre equipment – to at least two hospitals in each of the 47 counties for a seven-year period. That totals to 94 health facilities across the country.
But Mr Muriuki said the contract sum that each county was supposed to pay increased to Sh200 million per year after the number of health facilities under the scheme was increased by 24, bringing the total to 122.
But he was at pains to explain the criteria used to get the additional facilities, and whether the agreement was amended to reflect the change.
He could also not confirm whether the suppliers delivered and installed the equipment to the 122 facilities in line with the MoU signed with counties.
Deputy Majority Leader Fatuma Dullo, who chairs the committee, questioned the rationale of the uniformity of deductions of Sh200 million per county when the delivery of the equipment is not uniform.
She further demanded an explanation on what will happen to the equipment at the expiry of the seven years.