Governors generous with salaries: Report

County governments are still spending more on salaries and personal benefits at the expense of development. 

According to the latest report on budget implementation, Kisumu and Kisii counties reported nil expenditure on development budget in the first three months of the current financial year.

The County Budget Implementation Review Report for the first quarter of the 2019/2020 financial year says the two counties were not able to access funding due to budget approval impasse.

The report shows all the 47 counties have spent Sh35.3 billion on personal emoluments, Sh8.75 billion on operations and maintenance and only Sh1.9 billion on development in the period under review.

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The report released to the public yesterday by Stephen Masha, the acting Controller of Budget, indicates that expenditure information is based on actual spending reported by county treasuries and is also augmented with reports generated from the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis).

The total expenditure in the first three months of the financial year under review was Sh46 billion, representing an absorption rate of 10.1 per cent of the total annual county budgets.

Masha said the expenditure was a decline from an absorption rate of 11.3 per cent attained in a similar period of the last financial year, when total expenditure was Sh51 billion.

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“The expenditure comprised Sh44 billion for recurrent expenditure, which was 15.8 per cent of the annual recurrent budget and Sh1.9 billion for development expenditure (1.1 per cent of the annual development budget),” stated the report.

Local revenue collection

However, the regional governments improved their local revenue collection for the first three months of the 2019/2020 financial year by Sh300 million.

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The counties collected Sh7.71 billion compared to Sh7.41 billion during the same period last financial year (2018/2019).

An analysis of own source of revenue as part of the annual revenue target showed that Isiolo, Narok and Samburu received the highest shares at 38.1 per cent, 35.5 per cent and 33.8 per cent, respectively.

Turkana, Kitui and Kericho counties recorded the lowest proportion of own source revenue against the annual target at five per cent, 4.7 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively.

Combined budgets

The report, prepared in November last year, indicates that the combined budgets of the counties amounted to Sh456 billion.

“This amount comprised Sh177 billion allocation for development expenditure and Sh279 billion recurrent expenditure,” the report said.

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The total funds given to the governors in the first quarter of the financial year under review was Sh100 billion.

The amount consisted Sh55 billion as equitable share of revenue raised nationally, Sh38 billion cash balance from the last financial year and Sh7.7 billion raised from own revenue sources.

The office of the Controller of Budget recommended to the governors to develop and implement strategies to enhance local revenue collection and to ensure compliance with the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 on submission of financial and non-financial expenditure returns.

On the delay in disbursement of equitable share, it was recommended that the Commission on Revenue Allocation, the National Treasury, and Parliament should devise strategies to ensure the Division of Revenue Bill is approved within the required timelines.

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