, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – Constituency Development Fund (CDF) architect Muriuki Karue will lead a 16-member team to review the operations of the devolved funds in a bid to increase efficiency and accountability.
The team will propose amendments to the CDF Act (2003) and the CDF Amendment Act (2005) that will major to strengthen institutional structures that will ensure greater coordination between the CDF framework, technical officers on the ground and the line ministries.
The team will analyse and define specific roles and responsibilities of the key players for effective coordination and management of the fund.
“These are Account Managers, District Accountants, Members of Parliament, various CDF Committees, district Development Officers, other Ministries Officers, Local Authorities Officers and Community members,” said part of their terms of reference.
In separate interviews with Capital News Mr Karue and the CDF Management Board Chief Executive Agnes Odhiambo had decried the little utilisation of the technical officers on the ground which has resulted to unviable projects.
Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya who launched the team on Monday admitted that most of the facilities constructed using the funds remained underutilised owing to lack facilities and staff.
“According to the law, the CDF committees ought to be submitting their plans to our Ministry by March of every year after which we are to forward them to Treasury so that the maintenance of the projects is factored in the allocations to various ministries. This is however not happening and we want to see how best to address it,” Mr Oparanya said.
The team will look at the appropriateness of the current criteria including the poverty indexes and their application, assess the adequacy and usage of the 2.5 percent CDF allocation and review the coverage of eligible projects and programmes.
“The government wants to look at the quantum of money being distributed through the system,” Mr Karue told capital news immediately after taking over the task.
The Minister said that despite remarkable impact the funds at the grassroots a number of challenges have persisted.
“We have established that there is weak capacity to identify viable projects at the local level while the involvement of the community has remained low. There is also poor management of transitional periods during elections,” he voiced.
The team that has two months to finish its work has been allocated a provision budget of Sh20 million. Since its launch in 2004 a total of Sh44 billion have been devolved through the CDF framework but claims of impropriety of the funds have continued to be reported. Mr Oparanya last week admitted that at least 20 percent of funds go to waste. At the moment we have 15 cases with the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission while 11 others are currently in courts.
“The Board has decided to recruit a legal officer to deal with cases of misuse of funds instead to referring them to KACC which takes quite some time,” Mr Oparanya said.
The team will also establish the interface between CDF and other devolved funds and make recommendations on how they can leverage or reinforce each other for maximum impact. This should include the role of CDF (and devolved funds in general) in the realisation of the Kenya Vision 2030 and the District Development Plans.