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Senator says change in law not meant to cripple counties

By Alphonce Shiundu | August 13th 2014

NAIROBI, KENYA: Senators on Wednesday clarified that they were not trying to cripple county governments in their proposal to cap the recurrent expenditure.

They said their proposed change to the Public Finance Management Act was done at the behest of the Budget and Appropriations Committee which was worried that the bulk of the money to the counties was being spent on operation costs, and not on development.

The chairman of the Senate's Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs Committee Billow Kerrow told The Standard that the controversial change included in the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2014, for caps on expenditure ceilings will be based on recommendations of the Commission on Revenue Allocation.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly is angry with the senators for seeking the input of the Commission on Revenue Allocation in setting the budget ceilings of county governments, especially for the recurrent expenditure.

Kerrow added that the other proposal for a 60-40 budget for recurrent and development was in another Bill by the senators, and not in the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2014.

They took issue with a perception that senators wanted to control money in the counties through the County Development Boards "as erroneous."

"The County Governments Act is very clear on the role of the County Development Boards. We will be meeting to discuss about projects and development in the counties. Nowhere does it give senators the power to control any money," said Kerrow.

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