Twalib Mbarak, CEO of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), has directed county governments to develop and implement systems and procedures to improve integrity and transparency in asset management at the devolved level.
Mbarak’s order, announced in a letter dated August 29 to all county governors and county assembly speakers, came after EACC conducted Corruption Risk Assessments in various devolved regions and identified ten major loopholes in asset management at the county level.
The loopholes according to EACC include; policies and guidelines on asset management not being properly developed in counties, assets not being uniquely tagged and coded for ease of identification and accountability, the registration of assets in the names of defunct local authorities, and counties not having inventory management systems.
Asset Disposal Committees not being constituted in counties, failure to provide security for the assets, insurance fraud, mechanical defects inspections not being undertaken, and failure by counties to undertake asset valuations were also listed by Mbarak.
“The purpose of this advisory is to bring to your attention the above concerns and malpractices which are rampant in the administration of asset management. The Commission hereby requires the County Government (Executive and Assembly) to streamline integrity and transparency in assets management. This is to be done in line with the relevant provisions of the Constitution,” said Mbarak.
“The County Government is required to submit an implementation plan for addressing the above malpractices through the establishment, maintaining and documenting adequate asset management structures, including an Asset and Liability Management Unit and a Standing Committee on Assets and Liabilities Management, utilization of ICT-based information systems for the purposes of managing assets; and preparation of Assets Registers based on the issued templates.”
In a separate letter dated August 29, Mbarak likewise instructed all county governments to submit an implementation plan for addressing challenges relating to the establishment and operationalization of the internal audit function in the Public Finance Management Act 2012 while telling the county leaders to provide updates, on a quarterly basis to the Commission on the progress made to implement the plans.
The move, Twalib noted, was informed by the fact that EACC assessments had revealed inadequacies in the operation of internal audit functions in both the County Executives and Assemblies.