ADVISORY

Controller of Budget seeks SRC’s advisory on car grants for MCAs

OCOB said is has since received numerous requests from county governments for the car grant

In Summary
  • OCOB seeks to be told how to handle requests to authorise withdrawals from county revenue funds to finance the car grants.
  • On 10 February, SRC approved the Sh4.5 billion car grant President Uhuru Kenyatta offered speakers and MCAs.
MCAs celebrate in Mombasa after President Uhuru Kenyatta said they would get car grants
REWARD THEMSELVES HANDSOMELY: MCAs celebrate in Mombasa after President Uhuru Kenyatta said they would get car grants
Image: /FILE

The Office of the Controller of Budget has (OCOB) has sought an advisory on how to implement the car grant for speakers and members of county assemblies.

OCOB has written to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to be advised how to convert a car loan facility into a car grant.

It further seeks to be told how to handle requests to authorise withdrawals from county revenue funds to finance the car grants.

OCOB noted that most counties budgeted for a car loan facility and not a car grant.

“The car loan facility is being implemented through legislation enacted to create a revolving fund. This legislation does not provide for the issuance of a car grant,” OCOB said in a letter dated February 17, 2021.

OCOB is mandated to among others authorise for the withdrawal of funds.

OCOB said it has since received numerous requests from county governments on the implementation of the review of the car loan benefit to speakers and members of county assemblies.

The letter further said most counties merged the car loan and mortgage facility into one fund

“Some counties are operating one mortgage and one car loan fund for the staff and members of the county assembly. It should be noted that in some counties, the fund is not fully funded,” added the letter.

OCOB further stated that they are confronted with scenarios where speakers and MCAs have not accessed a car loan, have accessed the facility and have partially repaid the loan, have accessed the facility and have fully repaid the loan or have accessed the loan from the joint car and mortgage fund.

“We, therefore, seek your clarification on how to convert the car loan facility to a car grant taking into account all the scenarios and how to treat interest so far paid by the beneficiaries,” the letter stated.

On 10 February, SRC approved the Sh4.5 billion car grant President Uhuru Kenyatta offered speakers and MCAs.

SRC Chairperson Lyn Mengich reviewed car loan benefits to a transport facilitation benefit in form of a car grant.

The commission further noted that the grant was payable to the county speakers and members of the county assembly.

"Conversion of the car loan facility to a car grant will be undertaken within the available car loan facility funds of Sh4.5 billion and will not affect the expenditure ceiling.

"Upon conversion, the existing car loan shall cease and the speakers and Members of the County Assembly who have already benefited from the existing car loan shall convert their car loan to transport facilitation benefit in form of a car grant," read the notice in part.

The commission added that the benefit was only applicable to the current speakers and MCAs.

Kenyatta had pledged to help MCAs achieve their demands for a Sh2 million car grant each.

His assurance was welcomed by the legislators who in turn promised to support the BBI Referendum Bill 2020 whose fate now lies in the hands of county assemblies.

According to the SRC, MCAs are entitled to car loans of up to Ksh2 million to be paid back on a three percent interest rate within their term in office.