Kenya’s Information Communication Authority (ICTA) has been caught for the irregular spending of $1.12-million from both local and foreign lenders for the year to June 2020.
The country’s Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu says that the money involved was all proceeds from grants. In fact, the amount represents cumulative funds transfers to a special project bank account whose expenditure returns had not been submitted to the National Treasury by the end of the financial year.
Gathungu also raised an alarm over the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure Project (NOFBI), whose expenses amassed $192K, which includes misclassified training and capacity building expenses of $3428 and $19.1K under the East Africa Regional Transport Trade and Development Facilitation Project, respectively.
“The balance also includes a daily and subsistence allowance claim of [$8726] an officer. Management did not explain why the officers had not been issued with imprest and whether there was prior authority as per the financial regulations,” Gathangu said, quoted by Business Daily.
Telkom Kenya and the NOFBI
These audit findings come in the wake of a split in Kenya’s government over plans to end Telkom Kenya’s management of a state-owned $145-million fibre optic network that the telco currently operates without a license.
The ICT Ministry and ICTA are deadlocked in a dispute over how to finish Telkom’s management of NOFBI, which provides connectivity in all 47 of Kenya’s counties. Jerome Ochieng, former ICT Principal Secretary, told Kenya’s parliament in March that his ministry was not aware of plans to take control of NOFBI from Telkom, which has collected over $1.5-million from users since its installation.
Currently, the ICTA is allegedly working on transferring NOFBI to itself amid the parliamentary probe over the fibre network’s operations.