Governors ask for Ksh425b allocation in next fiscal year
The Council of Governors (CoG) yesterday asked the National Treasury to allocate Sh425 billion to the devolved units in the 2023-2024 financial year.
CoG’s request came even as it sought an audit of all laws that had been passed before the inception of devolution in 2013 and also post-2013 with a view to aligning those to the devolved system of governance.
The County chiefs argued that Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) recommended that Sh407 billion be allocated to counties in the financial year 2023/24 which is a 10 per cent increase from the current Sh370 billion on the Vertical Sharing of Revenue.
“In line with this, the Council proposes a 15 per cent increase of the projected revenue growth in the financial year 2023/24 and hence allocates a minimum of Sh425 billion to counties.
In addition, the governors who met yesterday charged that a number of State agencies have been formed without consultation with the Counties through executive orders without their input.
According to the governors, the Kenya National Public Health Institute Order of 2022, the National Syndemic Diseases Control Authority and the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority are some of the entities established without their input.
“We note with utmost concern that the Ministry of Health established some Authorities through executive orders issued by the former President a few months preceding the August 9 General Elections. This continues to be a trend whereby the National Government creates institutions to undertake devolved functions,” said CoG Chair Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga).
Yesterday, the Governors rejected National Treasury’s move to disburse County cash using the absorption rate.
Waiguru in her address to the press yesterday explained that the balances in the County Revenue Funds (CRFs) are not because of under-absorption by Counties but due to delays by the Controller of Budget (COB) to approve requisitions, which spans more than two weeks.
“We reject this proposal in ‘toto’ as it goes against Article 219 of the Constitution and Section 17 (6) of the PFM Act, 2012. This criterion is therefore misleading and unjustified,” said Waiguru.
According to the County chiefs, the 47 Devolved units are owed Sh29.6 billion for October and Sh31.45 billion for November 2022 allocations respectively.
“We call upon the National Treasury to expedite the disbursement of the monies owed to ensure that service delivery in the Counties is not halted.”
On the issue of the Universal Health Cover (UHC), Waiguru said that the contracts for more than 9000 staff recruited under the UHC programme are coming to an end in May 2023, adding that there is a potential disruption of health services if the staff leave hospitals due to lack of resources to sustain them.
Waiguru further stated that CoG would engage the Ministry of Health to agree on a roadmap for the implementation of the UHC Programme.
“We urge the national government to provide additional budgetary resources to County Governments for the Renewal of contracts for UHC staff at the market rate salaries. The payroll Management for the UHC staff should also be transferred to County Governments,” said Waiguru.
She stated the Ministry of Health has undertaken a number of Primary Health Care (PHC) interventions under the UHC including the construction of 50 level 2 and 3 hospitals in counties and the upgrading of Maternal and Child Health facilities in 12 counties.
The governors charged that they would convene a meeting with the Ministry of Health to address pending issues, among others, on infrastructure and equipment support programmes, which include Managed Equipment Service (MES), Microwave upgrading project and Construction of County Level 3 Hospitals.