The Teachers Service Commission, TSC, has been put on the spot for overpaying a section of teachers as the agency is reeling from a shortage of teachers.
The irregular payments may have drained approximately Ksh.3 billion and given irrecoverable wage advances to teachers, according to the most recent public audit, which covered the period from June 2021 to June 2022.
The audit further reveals that TSC failed to remit over 2 billion shillings in taxes deducted from staff.
According to Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, some of the funds were lost in the past, with the likelihood that ghost teachers were paid between 1988 and 2000 when teachers were still paid in cash rather than through banks.
TSC is said to have advanced some 10.5 million in salary advances, some of which were not documented while the rest were not being recovered.
“Further, an amount of Ksh.4,264,665 in respect to one hundred and forty-five (145) staff had no movement over the last twelve months. Management did not give any reason for non-recovery of the salary advances” Ms. Gathungu wrote.
Ironically, some of the TSC staff whose salary advances were not being repaid continued to draw more salary advances, raising to question of possible collusion to misuse funds allocated to the commission.
TSC also couldn’t explain how it overpaid employees by Ksh.352 million, which it hadn’t been able to recover in years. Under ambiguous circumstances, some teachers were overpaid by Ksh.33 million, cash that the Auditor-General claims would never be recovered.
“Review of the detailed analysis of the payroll provided for the financial year 2020/2021 revealed that thirty-two teachers had an outstanding ‘salary overpayment’ balance amounting to Sh33,780,614,” Gathungu wrote.
“The repayment timeframe for recovering the outstanding amounts, however, is longer than the teachers’ retirement age. As a result, the balance’s recoverability is in question.”
One teacher was overpaid by Ksh.4.8 million, which was recovered for Ksh9.056. If the teacher had completed probation before receiving such an advance, it would take 44 years to recover, which is an extremely impossible length to be in service.
While most government institutions require KRA tax compliance before hiring, more than 5000 TSC employees are non-compliant because Ksh.2.2 billion in taxes were never deposited to KRA.