Why Controller of Budget denied counties Sh3.2bn


Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Counties did not receive Sh3.2 billion between last July and January due to breaches of fiscal laws, including imprudent use of funds and exceeding the threshold of administrative costs.

Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o says the 47 counties sought Sh182.7 billion, but her office only approved Sh179.5 billion.

Topping the list of rejected requests was Narok where its requisition of Sh243.3 million for the hiring of ambulances, as opposed to purchasing, was not approved.

Turkana County Executive’s request amounting to Sh150 million on the established County Fund was not approved because administration costs were more than the three percent threshold required by the law.

They breached regulation 197 (1) (d) of the Public Finance (County Government) regulations.

Ms Nyakang’o also rejected an approval request from Samburu County of Sh148.2 million citing the use of wrong templates as well as prior claims not requested separately as pending bills.

The CoB also failed to approve a requisition of Sh142.6 million from the Machakos County executive for payment of salaries for failing to remit a signed schedule of unremitted payroll deductions.

“The declined withdrawal requests translate to two percent of the requisitions that were not approved due to failure to follow the guidelines,” said Ms Nyakang’o.

Siaya also failed to receive a nod for the Sh98.2 million request for operations expenses on account of the failure by the county to explain why the payment to the National Health Insurance Fund was not processed through Internet banking as a lump sum.

Nyandarua’s request of Sh94.4 million for operations was also rejected with Ms Nyakang’o arguing there was the use of imprests for past activities and that payments which should be made directly to third parties are funded using imprests.

Last December, Wajir requested approval of 75 million to advance imprests to its officers but this was declined due to imprudent use of imprests.

Ms Nyakang’o also declined to approve Sh12.5 million for use as the inauguration budget in Trans Nzoia County, saying the requested fund was extravagant and should have been rationalised.

The development comes a day after governors accused the CoB of constantly delaying the approval of their budgets.

On Monday, the governors listed inadequate funding, non-adherence to revenue sharing formula and constant delays to approve expenditures, as the main challenges facing the devolved units since the promulgation of the 2010 law.

However, Ms Nyakang’o defended her office, saying irregular diversion of funds meant for salaries to operations expenses, mainly statutory and other payroll deductions, is one of the major reasons she delays in approving their budgets.

She also pointed to the governors making the wrong classification of expenditure, where recurrent expenditure items are wrongly factored under the development budget as another reason.

According to Ms Nyakang’o, County bosses have unjustified high wage bills outside the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Database (IPPD) system.

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