Sunday, 06 November 2022 11:22

GOVERNORS CALL UPON NATIONAL TREASURY TO RELEASE FUNDS OWED

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The Council of Governors on 6th October 2022, held a full Council meeting to discuss key issues of common interest to County Governments. These include the status of disbursement of equitable share of revenue, County Governments’ additional allocations, and the unbundling, costing, and transfer of functions and attendant resources.
This was the second Council meeting since the Governors Induction workshop held in Mombasa County in September 2022, where Governors elected the new leadership that will steer the agenda of devolution into the next phase.
The 3rd Generation of County Governments have started on a bleak note owing to lack of resources at the County Level. Contrary to the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 which requires the National Treasury to disburse funds to Counties on the 15th Day of every month, County Governments have arrears dating back to August 2022. 7 Counties are yet to receive Ksh. 5.28 billion August allocations while all 47 Counties have not received their September and October allocations.
The delays and the unpredictable disbursements of funds has negatively impacted service delivery and Counties run the risk of accruing pending bills. County operations such as payment of salaries to county officials have come to a halt while the purchase of medical supplies; development projects, and response interventions to drought and disaster management have been grossly affected.
Further, Governors deliberated on the Conditional allocations to County Governments. To this end, Counties are owed 27.68 billion for the 2021/22 Financial Year, and another Ksh. 37 billion remain outstanding in the current FY 2022/23 due to the delays in the passage of the County Governments Additional Allocations Bill, 2022.
Speaking during a press briefing after the Council meeting, the Council of Governors Chair H.E. Anne Waiguru called upon Parliament to re-introduce the Bill under the prioritized bills.
“We note that the National Assembly during its first sitting re-introduced some Bills that were not finalized during the 12th Parliament. It is noted that the County Governments Additional Allocations Bill, 2022 was not among the prioritized Bills” said the COG Chair.
On functional assignment, a meeting between the COG leadership and the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) was held before the full Council meeting. It was resolved that the two institutions finalize the analysis of the unbundling and transfer of functions using the “big bang” approach used during the 1st phase of the transfer of functions spearheaded by the defunct Transition Authority. Further, COG and IGRTC through IBEC, will lobby for the allocation of adequate resources to facilitate the finalization of unbundling of functions, valuation, and transfer of assets of the defunct local authorities and assets of the National Government to County Governments.

 

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