COB faults Treasury over slow development in counties

Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo (PHOTO: FILE)

KISUMU, KENYA: The National and County Treasuries could be frustrating development projects at the counties, the Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo has said.

According to her latest report, the COB has faulted Treasury over the delays in disbursing funds to counties to aid them in their various activities.

The report covers the first quarter of the financial year when several counties were hit by a serious cash crunch which threatened several activities including the payment of salaries.

During the period under review, some 24 counties failed to undertake any development projects even as they continued with the frenzy of paying huge perks to their staff.

Only a dismal Sh3.5 billion was used collectively by the remaining counties to undertake development in what has been attributed to a failure by Treasury to release funds.

According to Ms Odhiambo, the counties had expected to receive some Sh450 billion to fund their projects but only received a paltry Sh23.5 billion.

“This low level of disbursement implies that Counties were underfunded and therefore, unable to fully implement budgeted activities, “said the COB.

A breakdown of the funds indicate that out of the Sh450 billion, about Sh272 billion was supposed to be spent on recurrent expenditure and some ShSh177 billion for development activities.

The low disbursement meant that counties could only spend on projects that were prioritized even as several projects in a number of counties remained stalled with contractors abandoning sites over lack of pay.