EDITORIAL: Regulate county spending – Business Daily

Ideas & Debate

EDITORIAL: Regulate county spending

The Treasury building in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The proposal by the Building Bridges Initiative to have a third of national revenues allocated to the counties will, if implemented, improve the delivery of services by the devolved units but some conditions should be in place otherwise it will only encourage poor financial management and embezzlement of funds.

One critical condition that should come with such an allocation is that the county governments account for what they have already been allocated.

As a corollary to this, there are those that must show why they have returned monies to the Treasury year after year instead of spending it to deliver services as expected.

Currently, the Treasury is at loggerheads with 15 counties that have failed to pay suppliers nearly Sh23 billion and yet they have been allotted cash every years since devolution went into implementation in 2013.

Second, an increase in such allotment also must mean that more roles are allocated to the counties because there must be balance on the use of cash between the national government and the counties.

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There seriously ought not to be any free lunch in the use of public resources. If no roles are allocated a third of national resources would certainly be a waste or misallocation.

Thirdly, they should make the effort of raising money in their counties without unduly harassing business people as some have been wont to.

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