A row is looming over annual contributions made by counties to the Council of Governors (CoG ) kitty.
Senate County Assembly and Investment Committee chairman Moses Kajwang Wednesday termed the contributions illegal and directed the CoG to refund the money to counties.
Mr Kajwang, who is also the Senator for Homa Bay County, said that the Intergovernmental Relations Act mandates the Treasury to fund operations of the council.
He asked the council to refund the money failure to which county officials who authorise the payments be surcharged.
“The contributions are irregular. The position of the Senate is that the amount be refunded,” Mr Kajwang said.
The matter came up during a committee’s meeting with Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga over Auditor-General Edward Ouko’s 2014/2015 report which found the contributions illegal.
Mr Ouko in the report pointed out that the county irregularly paid Sh3.7 million to the CoG, now chaired by Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok.
The governor in his defence said counties contribute to the fund because the national government has failed to finance their activities.
“We are aware that CoG is supposed to be financed by the Treasury but it is not doing so, so we resolved to do it ourselves.
“We will get the refunds after the national government gives out money,” said Mr Rasanga.
Last year, the same senate committee recommended that 10 governors be prosecuted for contributing money to the CoG fund.
There is no set amount to pay, each year governors draw a budget for the secretariat’s operations and other activities then allocate each county a mean amount to pay.
For instance, in the 2014/2015 financial year each county contributed Sh2 million towards annual subscription and Sh1.7 million for the devolution conference hosted by Kisumu County.