Treasury has slashed Sh1 billion from the budget to the ICT sector for the 2020/21 financial year even as the industry struggles to complete huge projects allocated in the previous year.
Data from the budget presented in parliament yesterday indicates the ICT sector received a total of Sh19.5b, down from Sh20.5b allocated earlier following rationalisation by Treasury in response to the harsh economic environment arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
Out of the budget, Sh10b has been allocated for ICT infrastructure development, Sh2.3b for e-government services and Sh5.2 billion to the State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunication.
At the same time, Treasury has allocated another Sh11.8 billion to the Konza Technopolis project, including Sh5b for Konza Data Centre and Smart City, and another Sh400m for phase two of the Konza Authority’s headquarters.
This comes even as parliament last week queried the ICT Ministry and Treasury why the Government has failed to centralise procurement and purchasing of ICT equipment, leading to duplication and waste of resources.
“Despite the Government directive that all ICT purchases by government agencies be coordinated by the State Department for ICT, most of the funds relating to e-government tend to be reallocated during the supplementary budget process,” said the Budget and Appropriations Committee in its report.
Parliament also put the ICT ministry on the spot over misusing Article 223 of the Constitution that enables State departments to make funding requests under supplementary budgets.