Fourteen counties defied the Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s (SRC) and paid ward representatives monthly sitting allowances above the set cap of Sh80,000 in the three months to September.
Data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows that Migori, Kwale, Siaya, Kakamega, Bumgoma, Busia, Nyandarua, Kisii, Makueni, Mombasa, Nyeri, Kiambu, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nairobi breached the cap on perks paid for sitting in assembly committees.
The SRC in July 2017 abolished MCAs’ mileage reimbursements, sitting allowances for plenary sessions and special responsibility perks.
It also capped monthly sitting perks at Sh80,000 from the previous Sh124,800 in a push to lower the wage burden and free resources for projects like roads.
“A total of 14 county assemblies reported higher expenditure on committee sitting allowance than the SRC’s recommended monthly maximum of Sh80,000,” said CoB boss Agnes Odhiambo in the report.
Migori led the allowances gravy train with each MCA pocketing an average Sh121,026 monthly, followed by Kwale (Sh108,668), Siaya (107,969) and Kakamega (Sh102,136). This is in comparison to their more frugal counterparts like Baringo, Meru and Garissa which paid the least for the meetings at Sh1,710, Sh2,800 and Sh2,438 a month respectively.
But the low spend could mean that the counties failed to have committee sessions in the period.
The average monthly sitting allowance earned by the MCAs more than tripled to Sh63,674 in the quarter from Sh22,892 in similar period in 2017.
The difference in the perks is attributed to the MCAs’ long absence ahead of the August 8, 2017 elections.