ACCOUNTABILITY

Treasury names 13 state agencies in billions pending bills

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani has warned accounting officers to clear what is owed to suppliers or face action.

In Summary

•CS Yatani says out of Sh14 billion payable pending bills that ministries owed to various suppliers, a total of Sh13 billion has been paid with a balance of Sh1.8 billion remaining.

•Counties owe suppliers over Sh19 billion in payable pending bills.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani when he appeared before Senate Finance Committee on November 26 over pending bills.
CONTRACTORS, SUPPLIERS' MONEY: Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani when he appeared before Senate Finance Committee on November 26 over pending bills.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

The National Treasury has named and shamed 13 Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) riddled in pending bills as the government moves to clear over Sh1.8 billion owed to suppliers.

This comes even as Treasury CS Ukur Yatani spelled tough measures to accounting officers on Wednesday, wanting them to clear what is owed to suppliers or face action.

The MDAs in question include State Department for Fisheries, Broadcasting and Communication,Parliamentary Service Commission, Ministry of Lands, Judiciary,Immigration, Interior Ministry, IEBC and Sports Ministry.

Others are the Salaries and Remuneration  Commission, Kenya National Human Rights Commission, National Police Service Commission and Commission on Administrative Justice.

The CS has however said out of Sh14 billion payable pending bills that ministries owed to various suppliers, a total of Sh13 billion has been paid.

“We are remaining with about Sh1.8 billion and they are narrowing down to very few ministries,” he told journalists in Nairobi, blaming pending bills for 'killing' SMEs and the private sector growth.

“You asked me to supply you with certain services, I have used my resources and facilitated you, you have consumed my products and refused to pay, not for one year sometime even for 10 years, that is robbery and against the law” Yatani said.

"we are going to deal with you," he warned.

The CS has also cautioned counties against holding suppliers' monies noting that some counties have refused to clear their bills, where pending sums total about Sh19 billion.

Out of Sh55 billion payable pending bills  by counties, about Sh36 billion has been paid, the CS noted.

“Some counties are resisting but I don't think they have any option,” Yatani said.

He said since none has denied procuring the said services, or entered into contracts with various suppliers and contractors, what belongs to the people must be paid in good time.

He has promised MDAs funding to clear their bills.

“There has been inadequate budget and we want to consider, moving forward ,how best we can give them more resources so that they can dispose of the pending bills,” Yatani said.

Private sector players, lead by manufacturers have continued to decry delayed pending bills for stifling businesses, as the country suffers from low liquidity.

“The government must ensure it clears pending bills and going forward, pay suppliers on time,” Kenya Association of Manufacturers chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga told the Star.

In a quick rejoinder, Treasury assured suppliers and the private sector of clearing all pending bills in the shortest time possible, as it targets a clean bill by end of the current financial year(June 30).

Yatani said accounting officers frustrating payment of pending bills will be held accountable.

“We have express authority from the President on dealing with pending bills. It could be cured administratively or using the law. From July, we will not be talking anything about pending bills,” Yatani said.

There is a total of Sh80.9 billion questionable pending bills owed to suppliers both by national and county governments.