• Counties fail to exhaust their development budgets because funds are disbursed late
• Some counties were recently forced to take bank loans to pay staff salaries
The national Treasury is to blame for the slow pace of development in devolved units, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has said.
Kingi said that this year alone, the county governments have lost the first quarter of the financial year due to delayed disbursements of funds by the Treasury. This has delayed the implementation of projects.
The governor, who spoke on Friday during the signing of county government performance contracts with the executive members, said counties often fail to exhaust their development budgets because funds are disbursed late.
He said the three-month delayed revenue allocation will adversely affect delivery.
''This could have been avoided if leaders from the two levels of government sat down to discuss and reach an agreement,'' he said in reference to the three-month standoff between the Senate and the National Assembly over the amount the counties should get from the national government.
The stalemate was resolved last week.
Kingi appealed to the Treasury to release funds for July-September instead of giving out funds for one month.
He said some counties were not able to pay salaries and had to take loans from banks to ensure they pay the workers.
Kingi said the Treasury has had a tendency of disbursing funds late. "As you know a financial year ends in June and any funds that come after June are regarded as funds outside the financial year.''
The governor accused the media of highlighting failure by counties to spent the billions allocated by the national government.
''How can you use the billions if they are not there? At the end of the last financial year, the national government still had over Sh1 billion for Kilifi,'' he said.
This led to an outcry from contractors and suppliers demanding payment. And since the money was released after the financial year, it could not be used as the Treasury closes IFMIS at the end of the financial year.
''After sending the funds late they go to the media to announce that the county has failed to spend Sh1.7 billion. How do we spend it?'' he asked.
He said the Council of Governors was demanding that the funds be disbursed in good time each month as planned.
The governor called for cooperation between the Senate and the National Assembly to avoid further conflicts over funds allocation.