13 August 2013

Kenyan Budget Controller Orders Counties to Revise Budgets

Kenyan Budget Controller Agnes Odhiambo has given county governments two weeks to revise their budgets after a report from the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) revealed that 25 of Kenya's 47 counties face significant budget deficits, Kenya's Capital FM reported Monday (August 12th).

The 210-billion shilling ($2.4-billion) budget to fund county governments will be disbursed after the revised budgets are reviewed, Odhiambo said.

Some counties have included their budgets grants for the purchase of motor vehicles, as well as loans and mortgages for county officials. The total deficit in county budgets totals 32.7 billion shillings ($372.6 million), with only 23% of the 47 counties having balanced budgets. Odhiambo said such allocations are the purview of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

Odhiambo said that funds could not be released to counties without a plan for balancing their budgets. "The controller of budget cannot start releasing money to a county that has shown a very big deficit, because how is that deficit going to be closed? If we released the allocation from the national government and the county runs out money, it will not even be able to pay salaries," she said at a forum on devolution chaired by Deputy President William Ruto.

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