advertisement
Economy

MPs seek interest payment on cash held by courts

William Cheptumo
Mr William Cheptumo: Amend the PFM Act. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Judiciary held Sh5 billion as court deposits and other funds belonging to third parties in the year to June 2018, denying owners the opportunity to earn interest.

The amount was an increase from Sh4.4 billion that was held in the year to June 2017.

Parliament now wants the Judiciary to draft a bill to amend the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, 2012 to enable all the cash held in bank accounts operated by courts to earn interest.

The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee says the PFM Act prohibits payment of interests on monies deposited in the bank accounts of the Judiciary.

“The Judiciary should come up with a legislative proposal to amend the PFM Act to enable all monies held in bank accounts maintained by the Judiciary to earn interest,” Baringo North MP William Cheptumo who chairs the committee said in a report.

advertisement

Court deposits include funds retained for projects. The monies are refundable as ordered by courts or after a six months of retention.

The report was developed following the scrutiny of the State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice for the year 2017/18.

The Constitution requires State organs, including the Judiciary to file a report on the state of affairs of the entities every year.

The committee said the Judiciary was a receiver of revenue on behalf of the national government.

“Its revenue comprises court fees, fines, forfeitures and other charges paid directly to the Treasury accounts as revenue,” the report states.

The committee reckons that the collections in the financial year 2017/18 amounted to Sh2.075 billion compared to 1.972 billion in 2016/17.

The committee said despite introducing cashless payment systems at the Judiciary, some judicial staff, in conspiracy with unscrupulous bank agents, had misappropriated funds paid to the institution.

“In this respect, some staff were facing disciplinary action while others had been dismissed from the judicial service,” Mr Cheptumo said.

advertisement