Two days after the vindication of corruption allegations levelled against him, Auditor-General Edward Ouko has now turned his gun, and is now calling for a total overhaul of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) used in the public sector.
Ouko, in report released, has said that the system has massive security lapses that have exposed public funds to fraud and abuse.
He has revealed that huge gaps in the system have made it easy and prone to manipulation, leading to fraudulent transactions.
In the recent past, the County governments, including Kilifi and Kakamega, experienced technical problems dispensing funds. In equal measure, cases of mismanagement of funds have been reported.
In his report, Ouko has cited lack of proper approval procedures, creation of new accounts and password expiry dates, duplication of user identities and poor data and security backup systems as pitfalls that are affecting its credibility.
The auditor’s sentiments come after the Council of Governors complained of paralysed operations in their counties, echoing the Transition Authority’s earlier blames.
December last year, dozens of counties delayed to dispense salaries for workers after the system failed. The serial failures have been crippling operations in some counties, for over four days.
“The underlying network infrastructure design and capacity was not adequate to cater for the needs of the Ifmis application standard uptime requirements and that of the end-users,” Ouko said.
In the audit report, Ouko says IFMIS has achieved minimal outcomes in curbing theft of public funds, one key reason for its introduction.
“It was observed that most of the users in the counties reported frequent downtime of the application — attributing it to network downtime — ranging anywhere between two to four days continuously. Also, ministries reported slow response time and sometimes downtime extending to a day,” he said.
The Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) was introduced in the public sector in 2010 to check on procurement loopholes, and bolster accountability. The audit report was compiled between July 2010 and November 2016.