Government still runs Sh272.2 billion devolved functions

Council of Governors' chair Ann Waiguru flanked by other governors address the press in Nairobi on July 31,2023 where she announced the date for Devolution Conference that will take place in Uasin Gishu county in August. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Several key elements of devolved functions accounting for Sh272.2 billion are still being run by the national government ten years later, the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRCT) has said.

IGRCT delegation led by the Chairperson Kithinji Kiragu who appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations said that considerable resources needed to fund devolved functions still remain in the hands of the national government.

They appealed to the committee and Senate to intervene and help push for the full transfer of devolved functions and resources.

IGRCT told the Senator Mohamed Abass led committee that there is need for consensus on quantum and time frame for transfer of resources and appealed to Parliament to appropriately and timely incorporate the funds in the County Allocation Revenue Act.

Kiragu said that overcoming the existing challenges will require political goodwill and commitment from the national and county governments.

He further told the senators that the Legal Notice No.142 of August 2019 delineated the library function and distributed 59 libraries domiciled in 33 counties.

IGRTC has already recommended to the Senate that the remaining 14 counties be supported to establish libraries through a conditional grant beginning with allocation of Sh100 million each.

Kiragu cited challenges and confusion in the allocation of library money and appealed to the Senate to address the issues amicably.

“The allocation of the library funds was distributed as part of the equitable share to the 47 county governments and not as a grant to the 33 county governments to which libraries and staff were transferred, as a result, county governments with libraries received allocations that were lower than the original allocation to cater for staff remuneration,” submitted the IGRTC Chair.

“On the other hand, county governments which did not receive libraries and staff were erroneously allocated funds, in the circumstances, some county governments have failed to take up the function due to less budgetary allocation to perform the function and the expanded wage bill,” he added.

On ECDE, IGRTC submitted that the function was devolved without clear resources to implement.

Kiragu called for a national symposium bringing together all the stakeholders to discuss the status of devolution.

The Senate committee assured IGRTC of support and urged them to be candid when discharging their duties.

Members of the committee present were Chairperson Abass (Wajir), Vice Chairperson Catherine Mumma (Nominated), Mohamed Chute (Marsabit) and Richard Onyonka (Kisii).

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