MPs demand recovery of Sh13m paid to teachers’ lobby
A House committee wants the accounting officer in the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education to refund Sh13 million irregularly diverted to Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) or be surcharged.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said the Accounting Officer was in breach of Section 79(2) (b) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 which provides that a public officer shall ensure that the resources within their area of responsibility are used in a way which is lawful and authorised, effective, efficient, economic and transparent.
The committee further observed that the accounting officer irregularly diverted funds budgeted for free day secondary education.
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in her report revealed that the Sh13 million paid to KESSHA were diverted from free day secondary education funds yet the organisation is not defined in the government funding structure and thus such payments amount to diversion of public funds
“The Accounting Officer should recover the funds from the Association or a surcharge be initiated against him to recover the funds irregularly diverted,” reads the report.
The decision of the committee comes after the accounting officer, Principal Secretary Julius Jwan, admitted that the money paid to KESSHA was from the ten sampled secondary schools, between 2018 and 2019 and was mainly drawn from Free Day Secondary Education funds.
Jwan told the lawmakers that although KESSHA is not defined in the government funding structure, to some extent, the collected funds were meant to supplement and enhance the provision of quality education through the improvement of principals’ management skills and training of student leaders among other education activities.