UNDER-PERFORMANCE OF LOCAL REVENUE COLLECTION IN LAMU COUNTY
For the year ending 30 June 2016, Lamu County executive had a target of collecting Ksh. 107 million. The actual revenue collected was Ksh. 53.1 million. This was an equivalent of 49.6 percent of the targeted revenue.
This is an indicator of shortcomings which led to the under-performance. This poor performance leads to budget cuts towards crucial sectors which in most cases affect access to basic services such as water, health, housing and sanitation.
The figures provided by the Office of the Controller of Budget differs with the figure of actual local revenue collected. The reports from OCoB indicates that the county collected Ksh. 57.3 million.
The question which begs for answers is: why do government agencies produce different statistics for the same public entity? Who can we believe in? Is someone hiding the truth? These are some of the issues which led the Office of the Auditor General to point out that the variance between the two actual figures needs answers from Lamu County executive.
Audit verification by the auditors revealed that the Lamu County executive could not explain the “unaccounted for receipt books.”
There was a total of 1,311 revenue receipt books which were issued during the period under review. Records revealed that only 619 books were surrendered. Out of the remaining receipts books, a total of 282 books disappeared without trace.
The auditors have consistently pointed out that Lamu County executive or management had engaged casual workers as recorders of revenue clerks, supervisors and collectors of revenue. This is strange.
Local revenue collection is a very sensitive matter. You know the stakes are very high. A lot of money is involved. How would the Lamu County executive trust the casuals on this matter?
Lamu County executive spent Ksh. 10.2 million to hire the services of a land surveyor to prepare a valuation roll. The Office of the Auditor General pointed out two issues related to the valuation roll. The first one was that out of the three bidders, no one submitted a bid bond which is mandatory. Secondly, there was no evidence to indicate that the valuation roll was published through a gazette Notice (this is a legal requirement).
Lamu County executive spent Ksh. 83.7 million on domestic travel. This was Ksh. 30.6 million more than what was collected as local revenue during the year under focus. How can a county spend an equivalent of all its local revenues plus 30.6 million more? This is unacceptable. Lamu County executive should do more to raise more money from local sources of revenue.
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