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Nairobi MCAs on the spot over fake imprest claims

Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) are on the spot for using fake documents to claim imprest.
In a memo that was addressed to the MCAs but later withdrawn, Nairobi County Speaker Alex ole Magelo warned that this practice has caught the eye of the Auditor General and asked the MCAs to put their affairs in order.

“During the audit of the FY2013/14, the Auditor General noted that most of the receipts presented for the surrender of the imprest were outright fake, that is, they contained scanty information hence they cannot stand the test of time,” the memo read.

Mr Magelo said that according to the Public Finance Management Act, a holder of safari imprest is required to account for the allowance within 48 hours after returning to the duty station.

He added that some MCAs had been using their colleagues’ passports to surrender their imprest after overseas trips.

IMPREST ABUSE

“Also, when members return earlier from their trip than it was planned, most of them are not willing to surrender the cash difference of the imprest issued as per diem,” said Mr Magelo.

Imprest abuse is not new to City Hall with the Executive arm last year claiming to have recovered Sh235 million that had not been surrendered for years.

In her 2012/13 report, Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo warned that the 48-hour guideline must be strictly followed and the county exercise strict control on issuance and surrender of imprest.

The Nairobi County Assembly’s accounts section has moved to develop a checklist form to help in surrendering imprest upon return from safari to check the abuse.

Mr Magelo also said the county assembly only operates on a “cheque” basis and no cash is held in the office.

“It is advisable to put your imprest request early enough to give the accounts staff enough time to process imprest request and where necessary draw the money for you without inconveniences,” the MCAs were told.