, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – The National Treasury is now calling on all government agencies and County governments to prepare their procurement plans early enough to ensure proper use of development budgets in the next financial year.
Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich complained of few development projects being undertaken in the first of quarter of every financial year, as most agencies tend to prepare their procurement plans after the approval of the budget at the end of June.
He said the trend has resulted in a lot of monies being returned to the Treasury while important projects are left hanging.
“Between May and June, two months before the parliament passes the Appropriations Bill, that is the time all ministries and department are required to prepare a procurement plan. They can actually use what they have put in the budget estimates to prepare their procurement plans,” Rotich emphasised.
He has also blamed occasional interference either by Parliament or individuals on government projects as another reason for having less development budget being fully utilized.
“I know Parliament has an oversight role but I would like to urge that we wait until the outcome of the audits that are usually carried out every year. This will help us implement the budgets as planned without halting these things every now and then,” Rotich said.
The CS is however optimistic that the amendments in the Procurement law will bring some reforms and ensure that there are no delays in implementing projects set to benefit the public.
One of the main changes proposed in the Procurement Amendment Bill is to stop petty lawsuits involving procurement which end up delaying significant projects.
“The new procurement Bill has already been submitted to Parliament. The current procurement law is sometimes a bit cumbersome. It requires a lot of capacities in its implementation, requires many ministerial tender committees, evaluation committees and so on, which end up delaying the processes,” he noted.
The government is looking towards reducing the minimum procurement procedure up to to a maximum of 30 days from the current delays of up to nine months with the changes.
Rotich was speaking on Tuesday during the 2015/16 to 2017/18 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Budget hearings in Nairobi.