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November 12, 2018

Delays by CoB in approving cash hurt services – official

Nairobi County's acting Finance executive Charles Kerich during the pronouncement of the 2018-19 budget at the assembly, June 26, 2018. /COURTESY
Nairobi County's acting Finance executive Charles Kerich during the pronouncement of the 2018-19 budget at the assembly, June 26, 2018. /COURTESY

Delays by the Controller of Budget to approve funds has crippled services, City Hall has said.

The county said work plans have been pending at CoB Agnes Odhiambo’s office for up to five weeks.

When contacted, Odhiambo said she would respond ‘later’ as she was travelling. She had not responded by press time, despite making 10 phone calls and sending her a text message.

Acting Finance executive Charles Kerich said the county’s operations have been hurt by “frequent delays” in approving funds.

The county cannot carry out even minor repairs on garbage trucks because of the cumbersome and tedious process of accessing funds, he said.

“The problem is that when we make the request to the CoB, a decision that can be made in two days takes three, four or five weeks,” Kerich said.

“What it [delay] does is that a lorry collecting garbage will break down and it requires only Sh28,000 to repair. It will stay in the garage for three months because there is no other way to get the money and pay without going through that system.”

The executive said the county needs at least two work plans per week to properly operate and serve residents.

“I begin to feel that the office [of the CoB] is beginning to extend its mandate beyond what it is required to do. It looks like an audit office, auditing the requests we make,” Kerich said.

“In my view, I think they should be checking if the request we make are within the budget and if there is money the account.”

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