Economy

Bill trims board members of six project agencies

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A parliamentary session. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

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Summary

  • The Regional Development Authority Bill of 2021 seeks to cut the number of board members from more than 15.
  • The bill proposes to remove the principal secretaries in charge of agriculture, health, water and tourism or their representatives from the boards of the authorities.
  • If approved by Parliament, only three PS’s who are responsible for regional development, finance and environment will retain their seats in the boards.

The boards of the six regional development authorities will be trimmed to 11 members if Parliament approves changes to the law.

The Regional Development Authority Bill of 2021 seeks to cut the number of board members from more than 15.

Currently, regional development authorities boards comprise of the chairperson, Principal Secretaries (PS) in charge of regional development, finance, agriculture, health, water, the provincial commissioner now renamed regional coordinator and eight to 10 other persons.

If approved by Parliament, only three PS’s who are responsible for regional development, finance and environment will retain their seats in the boards of Kerio Valley, Lake Basin, Tana and Athi Rivers, Ewaso Ng’iro North and South and Coast Development Authorities.

The bill proposes to remove the principal secretaries in charge of agriculture, health, water and tourism or their representatives from the boards of the authorities.

The bill also kicks out the current representation of the provincial commission (now renamed regional commissioner) and chairpersons of State agencies like the Kenya Power from sitting in the board of directors.

The boards of the regional authorities will now be headed by a chairperson appointed by the President with the PS’s responsible for regional development, finance and environment sitting as members.

Eight other persons appointed by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for regional development, all of whom shall be appointed from the area affected by operations of the authority.

The boards will also have a managing director who shall be an ex-officio member.

The bill seeks to repeal and consolidate laws establishing the Kerio Valley Development Authority, the Lake Basin Development Authority, Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority, Ewaso Ng’iro South River Basin Development Authority, Ewaso Ng’iro North River Basin Development Authority and Coast Development Authority.

Currently, the six regional development authorities are established by individual Act of Parliament with different numbers of board members some of which have 15.

“The principal objective of the Bill is to consolidate the laws relating to regional development. The Bill standardises the membership of the boards of each regional development authority to 11members in line with best practices in corporate governance,” the Bill states.

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