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MCAs demand to know how NMS has spent Sh27.1b

NEWS
By Josphat Thiongó | March 17th 2021
Director-General Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Major General Mohammed Badi during a past event in Nairobi recently. [File, Standard]

Members of County Assembly have put the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) on notice over failure to submit quarterly reports over the expenditure of funds allocated by City Hall for the past nine months.

The assembly now wants the Mohammed Badi-led institution to appear before different house committees to answer questions regarding the expenditure of funds as required by law.

Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriation committee chairperson Robert Mbatia said with already nine months into the current financial year ending June 30, 2021, NMS is yet to submit quarterly budgetary reports in line with provisions of the Deed of Transfer of Functions and the County Allocation of Revenue Act (CARA).

In the current financial year, NMS was allocated Sh27.1 billion to run the ceded functions namely health, transport, public works and planning.

Mbatia explains that the reports were critical in the budget-making process but was concerned that the delay in submission of the reports was a setback to the budget committee which made it hard for the MCAs to understand how the funds allocated for each sector, have been utilised.

Notably, officers from NMS have been appearing before the Senate where they have responded to queries on expenditure.

“As much as NMS is under the Office of the President, we are following the law as per the Deed of transfer and CARA, 2020. NMS should therefore furnish the committee with a breakdown of utilisation of funds allocated for the current financial year,” said Mbatia.

The chairperson further observed that tenets of the Public Finance Management Act had called for financial accountability as well as resource allocation accountability.

"As such, entities must put in the same effort they put to bid for resources in accounting for the same in order to help sectoral committees track implementation and absorption of the transferred resources," added Mbatia.

Section 7 (4) of CARA, 2020 states that the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury, in instances where a county government has transferred functions to the national government, shall prepare quarterly reports on the expenditure of funds in respect of the transferred functions and submit the same to the Senate, National Assembly and the respective County Assembly.

The Deed of transfer further states that to ensure effective running of the four departments, Parliament and the county assembly will be required to form joint committees tasked with oversight on operations of the NMS.

The national government will also be mandated to table an annual report before the county assembly and Parliament detailing implementation of the agreement.

“This also means as the assembly we can summon NMS officers when we have queries and need their input. This is part of our oversight mandate,” said Mbatia.

The Mbatia-led budget committee now wants the county Treasury and NMS to henceforth ensure that budget estimates submitted for approval are classified by respective sectors.

Further, the County Treasury to ensure that by April 30, 2021, it submits to the assembly the annual budget estimates for the financial year ending June 30, 2022, and the list of pending bills per sector for each of the transferred functions.

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