Politics and policy
MPs shelve Bill on control of county finances
MPs postponed debate on the Public Finance Management Bill — which was due for scrutiny at the committee stage yesterday — until they go through many amendments proposed by the Treasury.
The Bill is one of the constitutional legislations that are critical to the realisation of county governments. Its passage will enable the Ministry of Finance to establish county treasuries where devolved funds will be held after the money is released by the central government.
Finance minister Njeru Githae withdrew the Bill from debate during the special sitting called to approve the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill.
Constitutional Oversight Implementation Committee chairman, Abdikadir Mohammed, said MPs had not had an opportunity to scrutinise the proposed amendments.
Mr Abdikadir, supported by Finance Trade and Planning Committee chairman Chris Okemo asked Mr Githae and the deputy leader of government business, Amos Kimunya, to defer the consideration of the Bill, saying the House had been ambushed.
Mr Okemo said the Bill was critical and that rushing it through will not be in the interest of the country. “We need sufficient time to interrogate the proposed amendments,’’ he said. Temporary Speaker Ekwee Ethuro directed that the Bill be stood down to allow consultations between the minister and the MPs.
“The Bill is going to be the life blood of county government making devolution a reality,” Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo said.
Among the proposed amendments is removing the discretion granted to the cabinet secretary in charge of finance to disburse funds to counties.
They want the secretary compelled by law to disburse the monies meant for counties every first working day of every quarter in the financial year in equal instalments.