, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – Governors have been challenged to prioritise projects that will immediately impact the livelihoods of residents of their counties, and tailor their budgets on plans that are workable.
Former Local Government Permanent Secretary Karega Mutahi on Wednesday advised the governors to focus on how services will be delivered to Kenyans using the current funds before they seek more funding from the national government.
“Have the governors and their county governments put in place all the systems and procedures that are required to deliver services to the people? The issue is not the money – the issue is what we are doing and how much does it cost us,” Mutahi said. “Even if you have the money, if you cannot deliver, you are still going to find yourself in trouble.”
Mutahi further stressed that county officials should be sensitised on the proper procedures of implementing various programs within the county.
“We need to develop different types of modules to address different needs of the people we are dealing with,” he said.
“The actual implementation of activities at the county level has been slowed down by lack of correct processes in implementing the programs.”
He emphasised the need for county governments to ensure that services within the counties get to the grassroots level.
“I suggest that because we are all the targets of people who are dissatisfied with our services, the more important focus would be what would facilitate impacts at the personal level of Kenyans who are poor,” he said.
He was speaking during the presentation of a report on the progress of civic education where Devolution Senior Assistant Director Patrick Karanja pointed out that the ministry has conducted sensitisation exercises in 42 constituencies across the country.
“Each County presented five officers for this training; that was phase I. In phase II, these five officers would then be required to go to their respective counties and conduct similar training with back-up support from the ministry. They were to train another 40 officers from their respective counties,” he said.
The training was aimed at facilitating a smooth transition towards the devolved government through the improvement of county officers’ knowledge of the legal framework of the devolved governments based on four Acts of Parliament in devolution and public financial management laws.
“The Acts that we are talking about include the Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011, the Public Finance Management Act 2012, the Transition to Devolved Government Act 2012 and the County Government Act 2012,” he said.
He indicated that the programme targeted 1,600 senior heads of departments from the National Government with devolved roles and senior officers from the County Government from all the 47 counties.
“These officers have gained a better understanding and engagement in the operationalisation of devolution and prudent management of public finance while at the same time, they can play a central role in disseminating civic education on devolved government among the public and other county staff,” he stated.