Nairobi County is one of several devolved units under scrutiny by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for alleged interference with the revenue collection system.

A statement from the Commission indicates that senior officials in county governments are using the revenue collection system to redirect county funds through collusion with service providers, leading to the loss of significant amounts, amounting to billions of shillings.

The anti-corruption watchdog also observed that senior county officials have super-user rights on automated systems, granting them the authority to modify the recorded revenue amounts, facilitating misappropriation of public funds.

“Whereas deployment of integrated revenue management systems in our counties is aimed at enhancing efficiency and accountability, the systems are increasingly being manipulated to divert public funds to private individuals through collusion involving Governors, senior county officials, and companies providing the revenue management service,” said EACC.

The commission stated that in certain counties, private service providers have complete control over revenue management systems, creating challenges for county governments to enforce accountability measures.

“In this emerging pattern of automated looting of public funds, contracts for revenue management systems are designed with inbuilt corruption ranging from irregular tender awards favouring entities linked to county officials to fraudulent dealings within the automated systems.”

Other devolved units lack mechanisms to reconcile revenue management systems, particularly in situations where the county engages multiple service providers.

“As a result, many county governments are unable to meet their revenue targets, with some performing worse in revenue collection than even the local authorities that existed before them. Others have stagnated at the same level despite increased revenue streams,” the EACC said.

Alongside Johnson Sakaja’s administration, the anti-corruption watchdog has identified Narok under Governor Patrick Ntutu, Kajiado under Joseph Ole Lenku, and Kilifi under Gideon Mung’aro, as counties “with serious accountability deficits in their revenue management systems”.

“The Commission is taking appropriate action in accordance with its mandate,” the EACC stated.