How City Hall loses Sh1.2 billion annually in parking revenue
City Hall continues to lose over Sh1.2 billion in street parking revenue annually through unaccounted for clamps and collusion among parking attendants.
This according to a report by Public Accounts Committee (PAC), tabled before the Nairobi County Assembly early this month, which revealed that City Hall realized slightly over Sh2 billion in motor vehicle parking fees against a potential of over Sh3.3 billion.
The report for the 2015/2016 financial year revealed that only 1,321,565 vehicles paid parking fees in the year under review against 2,117,165 eligible vehicles at the designated on-street parking lots in the city.
This means that 795,600 vehicles, or 38 per cent of the expected payees, did not pay, hence robbing the county of over Sh1.23 billion every year.
The watchdog report tabled by the chair of the committee Mabatini MCA Wilfred Odalo observed that of the 27, 358 vehicles clamped for non-payment of parking fees in the year, 10,672 vehicles, representing 39 per cent of the number clamped, were released without payment or the requisite approval.
FRAUD AND COLLUSION
“Control over issuance and accountability over the clamps are weak and prone to manipulation as there is no system for monitoring field officers activity on the clamped vehicles whether paid or unpaid,” read the report in part.
But the officer in charge of parking defended the county saying that de-clamping is always done upon payment or automatically at midnight or the vehicles which fail to pay by 8pm which have to be de-clamped to avoid the clamps being damaged.
The committee also revealed that parking revenue must have been lost through fraud and collusion among motorists, parking attendants and senior county treasury officials.
According to the report, the loss of the revenue is necessitated by inaction by parking attendants who by design fail to enforce revenue collection, in addition to weak existing enforcement systems for parking fee collection and enforcing penalties for non-complying vehicles which are prone to manipulation.
“The CEC Finance should hold officer in charge of parking, parking attendants, and the responsible revenue officer at the county treasury at the time of non-payment personally liable for the revenue loss,” the report recommended.
Nonetheless, the officer in charge of parking stated that the high number of the non-compliant vehicles was occasioned by lack of special towing vehicles, insufficient clamps and non-cooperating motorists who drive away when queried by parking attendants.
“It is true that street parking revenue collection is not 100 percent but the numbers of eligible vehicles and the non-compliant indicated in the Auditor General’s report is not entirely true,” said the officer.
The officer indicated that the county had instituted measures, including introduction of pin tap gadgets to reduce errors, procured 2,000 clamps, procured automated tow trucks and one already hired, and formed a rapid response team for enforcement in areas with high default rate to stop the hemorrhage of parking revenue.
The report recommended that City Hall automate all parking fee collection within six months of the adoption of the report, disciplinary action taken against parking attendants who fail to comply, and mapping out and marking of all public parking areas in the county within three months.
It also recommended that all parking fees charged be based on approved county Finance/Revenue Administration Act and disciplinary action taken against any officer in breach of the Act and immediate procurement of automated system to monitor the clamping and unclamping of vehicles.