Business

Pending bills at counties balloon to Sh164 billion

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 05:45 | By
CoG chairperson Anne Waiguru
CoG chairperson Anne Waiguru. PHOTO/Print

County governments have accumulated pending bills amounting to Sh164.76 billion collectively by the end of June 2023, putting suppliers, workers, contractors and service delivery operators into a perennial cash crunch.

This was Sh11.74 billion more compared to Sh153.02 billion pending bills the developed units amassed in the previous budget cycle ending June 2022, according to Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o.

CoB has linked the increase to delays in the release of counties’ equitable share of revenue by the national government while the county bosses are also reluctant to offset some of the debts, especially those inherited from their predecessors.

“The high level of pending bills may be attributed to the following reasons: delays in disbursing the equitable share by the National Treasury; the change of county administrations and the requirement to undertake a verification process of pending bills has taken time,” reads County Government Budget Implementation Review report by CoB.

Other reasons stated are untimely approval of supplementary budget estimates to adopt prior-year pending bills in the current budget and political interference, leading to payment delays. Nairobi City County had the highest pending bills of Sh107.33 billion, representing 65.1 per cent of the total.

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