NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 5 – The Council of Governors is seeking partnership with the National Government to streamline revenue collection guidelines with a view of boosting revenue generation by county governments.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok who doubles up as the council’s Chairperson said on Monday that a technical team from the national secretariat of the counties was already engaging the National Treasury to formulate a policy that would facilitate revenue generation.
“The council requests the National Treasury to help develop regulations that will support County Governments identify sources of revenue and assist in curbing double taxation,” Nanok said during a media briefing at CoG offices in Westlands, Nairobi.
The move by the Council came amid reports of diminishing revenues at the local government level.
In the financial year 2016-2017, for instance, the Controller of Budget noted a Sh 32.2 billion collection against the annual target of 57.66 billion.
This year’s budget policy statement indicates that county governments are increasingly relying on the equitable share from the national government to fund their operations.
According to the policy statement published by the National Treasury in February, allocations from the national government formed 80 per cent of the counties’ revenues.
In addition to low revenue generation, counties have been faulted for failing to adhere to crucial guidelines governing public finance which include spending on non-budgeted projects.
“In their approved budgets, Counties are failing to disclose the cost of projects rolled over from previous financial years, while in other instances, funds are reallocated to different projects without approval as required in section 154 of the Public Finance Management Act,” National Treasury pointed out in this year’s budget policy statement.
“The National Treasury jointly with the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) will continue working with County Governments to ensure compliance with procurement laws and follow their procurement plan,” it noted.
County governments also face a challenge in the management of fiscal risks which continue to negatively impact the economic environment in respective areas.
Expenditure areas and duplication of efforts by performing duties meant to be discharged by the national government were cited by the National Treasury as key impediments to proper fiscal management in counties.