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How ‘cartels’ deny Kisumu County millions in revenue

By Kepher Otieno | Published Fri, February 9th 2018 at 12:31, Updated February 9th 2018 at 12:36 GMT +3

KISUMU, KENYA: Kisumu County is still losing millions of shillings in revenue collection due to alleged cartels in its licensing and revenue receipting departments each financial year.

Financial audits done by the administration revealed that while the county has the capacity to collect over Sh1.5 billion per annum, it hardly meets its cash targets.

Instead, the county is only able to collect Sh800m to Sh900 million against the targeted Sh1.2b or Sh1.5 billion or more, sources at the revenue collection unit disclosed.

Even with frantic effort to automate revenue collection system by the former regime, the situation has not changed much. Only slight increase of about 12.5 percent was posted.

Two years ago, the county automated revenue collection to boost its income earnings after it introduced-Electronic Trade Licensing (ETL) for revenue collection

Through ETL the County realised an increase of Sh200 million in revenue collections with revenue base growing from the initial Sh900 million to Sh1.1 billion a year.

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But it emerged that even with automation and ETL system, most revenue clerks still lack the requisite training skills to manage the process effectively.

Some were also detected to be posting receipts twice while others us duplicated receipts to swindle unsuspecting officials.

It is the reason, the authorities have now called for fresh bids to enlist the support of technocrats well versed with digital revenue systems to help them train staff on ETL.

According to County secretary Dr Olango Onudi, they county wants to implement a revenue collection system that would be cost effective and will ensure transparency.

''We want to put a system that will ensure transparency and accountability in all our revenue stream collections, embedded with data security and reliability,'' Onudi said.

''We are going to map revenue sources including real estate property, market stalls and integrate the services through geographical information systems(GIS),” he explained.

The county also targets to create an interactive customer portal to allow citizens to interact with the county and pay for services online.

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