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Governors blame IFMIS failure for delayed cash

By Roselyne Obala | January 25th 2017
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich

Governors have dismissed claims that their inability to use a financial management system has delayed disbursement of cash to counties.

Council of Governors (CoG) finance committee chairman Wycliffe Oparanya yesterday blamed Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich who he accused of locking them out of the implementation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS).

The Kakamega governor said the ministry has been acting in bad faith, accusing it of giving a deaf ear to their complaints on the flaws of IFMIS.

"It is ironical the statement showing Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) cash balances for all counties as at January 18 comes immediately after the ministry disbursed November 2016 funds to counties. This is clearly a case of late disbursement and not low budget absorption by county governments," said Oparanya.

Governors are complaining they don't get cash on time because IFMS is malfunctioning but the National Treasury is on the other hand blaming county bosses for the financial constraints their regions are facing.

Oparanya said most counties were unable to pay their suppliers as well as salaries in December last year due to late disbursement from the Treasury as well as failure of the IFMS between December 12 and January 5.

"It is therefore malicious and with bad intent for the National Treasury to allege counties have failed to absorb their allocations," argued Oparanya.

He added: "Frequent collapsing of IFMS is a serious problem the ministry needs to address to avoid the constant back-and-forth with governors. This needs to be addressed to streamline the flow of funds to counties. Besides, the National Treasury must ensure urgent strengthening of IFMS."

The system has also been blamed for loss of money in county accounts, with claims that it is easily manipulated.

A case in point is the loss of Sh51 million from Kilifi County accounts at CBK in November last year. County officials allegedly sent the money to accounts of fictitious companies.

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