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MPs warned over pending county financing law

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – Civil Society Organisations are now calling on Parliament to enact the County Government Public Finance Management Transition Bill 2012 before it adjourns.

National Civil Society Congress (NCSC) president Morris Odhiambo said on Sunday that a delay in its enactment will hold up transition to county governments as there will be no immediate access to allocated resources.

Odhiambo stated that governors will not readily have access to funds unless the law is passed.

“The consequences of not enacting this bill are that the transition county treasuries shall not be set up and this will obviously delay the transition and county governments will not have immediate access to resources allocated to them so as to commence their operations,” he said.

He cautioned Members of Parliament who want to be governors that they may never get resources to run their counties if the bill is not passed in time.

“We call upon the honourable members of the 10th Parliament not to adjourn until they have passed this bill which we know has been published and it is in their own interests to ensure that the law is passed,” he stated.

He further rubbished the National Government Coordination Bill 2012 which he described as unconstitutional.

He pointed out that the bill sought to bring back the provincial administration which has been done away with under the constitution.

“The National Government Coordination Bill 2012 is unconstitutional, period! It goes against the search for an appropriate balance between the national and county governments in terms of functional assignments,” he said.

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“Articles 186 and 187 of the constitution provide for the functional assignment and transfer of functions between the national and county governments. The Transition Authority is the only body mandated to undertake functional assignment,” he stated.

Odhiambo stated that if enacted, the bill would be retrogressive to the gains made since the promulgation of the new constitution.

“The past system of government had parallel structures of local government, which included the provincial administration with its multiple layers, the local authorities and line ministries. This system was very costly and needed to be rationalised. This bill re-introduces this problem,” he pointed out.

The bill was developed as a result of the review of the National Governments Service Delivery Bill, 2012.

It sought to establish an administrative and institutional framework for coordination of national government functions at the national and county levels of governance.

The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution undertook and internal and external review of the bill and invited the Office of the President, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Internal Security, the Attorney General’s Office, Kenya Law Reform Commission, National Intelligence Service, Kenya Defence Forces, National Police Service Commission and the Ministry of Justice to take part in the process.

Following a review of the National Government Service Delivery Coordination Bill, 2012, the meeting resulted in the National Government Coordination Bill, 2012.

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