Politics and policy
Council staff assured of county jobs
Posted Thursday, October 25 2012 at 21:21
- The authority petitioned Parliament for the urgent release of Sh1.2 billion for setting up structures to ensure that officials of the devolved units perform their duties soon after they are elected.
The authority charged with managing the transition from a central to a devolved system of governance has assured more than 33,000 local government employees of their jobs.
The Transitional Authority said it was seeking an urgent review of the County Government Act, the Public Finance Management Act and the Transitional Authority Act to ensure that workers in the 175 local authorities are absorbed by county governments.
“There has been uncertainty about the personnel of local authorities. Let me make it clear that they will automatically become the first employees of county governments,” Transitional Authority chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi told the Budget Committee of Parliament on Thursday.
The authority petitioned Parliament for the urgent release of Sh1.2 billion for setting up structures to ensure that officials of the devolved units perform their duties soon after they are elected.
Mr Wamwangi said the Budget shortfall could lead to a paralysis of public services after the March 4 General Election.
“We have a deficit of Sh1.2 billion in our operational budget. Unless we get the money to do the things in our work plan urgently it will be difficult to deliver a smooth transition,” Mr Wamwangi said.
He told the committee chaired by Maragua MP Elias Mbau that the authority had only received Sh400 million. The Treasury had initially allocated it Sh250 million but revised this to Sh400 million.
The Authority’s mandate is ensuring a smooth transfer of power, sharing of functions, assets and liabilities between national and county governments after the polls.
The Treasury set aside Sh148 billion for devolved functions but it is not clear how much will go to the authority or will be spent in salaries or service provision by the 47 county administrations.
“We have realised that the Treasury is holding back the work of the transitional authority,” said Mr Mbau during a meeting with the team at Parliament Buildings.
Mr Wamwangi said the money is needed to implement the first phase of its work which involves providing facilities to help governors, their executive teams, county assembly Speakers and members to execute their duties once elected.
“We need to get money urgently through the Supplementary Budget before the House is dissolved,” Mr Wamwangi added.
The Budget committee asked the authority to present its request to the Treasury.
Mr Mbau also directed the authority to present its budget estimates for March 2013 to June 2013 period when the new administrations will be in operation for consideration by both Parliament and Treasury.
“The Treasury and the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) is liaising with us to prepare a budget for the counties for the period March-June 2013. Parliament will approve additional expenditure as need arises,” Mr Mbau said.