May 5, 2015
Six counties among them Nairobi, Homa Bay and Machakos spent more money than what had been approved by the Controller of Budget in the first six months of the year, a new report has shown.
Others who exceeded their budget ceilings were Murang’a, Trans Nzoia and Meru. According to the County Governments Budget Implementation Review Report by the office of the Controller of Budget, the counties contravened the public finance management law. The report says these counties spent more than the approved budgets due to spending locally generated revenue at source on top of what they had been given by the national government. Nairobi County had the highest percentage of expenditure of total funds at 143.3 per cent, Homa Bay at 138.4 per cent, Machakos at 106.2 per cent, Murang’a at 106.2 per cent, Trans Nzoia at 101.8 per cent and Meru at 101.1 per cent. What is worse, despite spending more than what they had been released, the six counties were not among the best spending counties on development expenditure.
The report signed by Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo instead lists Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties as the biggest spenders on development as a percentage of funds they received in the first half of the year. In a trend confirming that counties that were previously marginalised have become the biggest beneficiaries of devolution, four of the five top spending counties were from the North Eastern part of the country. Marsabit and Nandi were also among the top five counties that used a bigger share of the money they received for development. According to the report covering the first half of the year, Isiolo, Nairobi, Mombasa, Nyandarua and Kirinyaga were the bottom five spenders. On average, counties spend 29.8 per cent of their budget on development. Absolute terms In absolute terms, Mandera had the highest expenditure on development at Sh2.57 billion, followed by Garissa and Kakamega ta Sh1.5 billion and Sh1.3 billion. This is the eleventh report by the Controller of Budget. The report dated February 2015 covers the period between July and December 2014. Almost half of the money was used on salaries. The expenditure analysis shows Sh48.5 billion (46.8 per cent) was spent on personal emoluments, Sh29.65 billion on development and another Sh1.7 billion on debt repayment and payment of bills. The report shows that the funds available in the first six months of the year to the county governments was Sh136.9 billion of which Sh83.6 billion (61 per cent) was equitable share.
Counties generated Sh13.1 billion from local sources. The remaining Sh40.2 billion was money brought forward from the previous year.
The report has said unprocedural re-allocation of funds and poor internal audits are some of the key issues that must be addressed to enhance County budget implementation.