NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – The Cabinet has established an inter-agency group to verify historical pending bills totaling Sh40 billion.
The resolution was made Thursday afternoon during a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
The inter-agency is required to submit a report to cabinet within a month, State House said.
The Cabinet also reiterated the need by government agencies to settle audited pending bills verified by the Office of the Auditor General.
The Cabinet decision came a day after government vowed to use lawful means to compel County Governors to pay pending bills.
The High Court had however ordered the National Treasury to disburse all funds held by the central government for what Acting National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said was their failure to comply with a directive on pending bills.
In the ruling delivered on Friday, Justice Weldon Korir ordered the National Treasury to remit all withheld funds allocated to county governments.
Justice Korir slated a status conference for January 28 when the court is set to review compliance.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi who is also the Chairperson of National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee Wednesday accused county bosses of playing politics as far as paying their pending bills is concerned.
“Some small excuses are being given by some governors for not paying their bills. We are saying they must pay their bills. We have made a strong recommendation to the full cabinet that we will use all possible lawful means to ensure governors pay their bills,” Matiangi vowed.
“It is not fair to treat our people in the manner they are being treated in the counties.”
Matiangi said the national government had cleared Sh9bn in pending bills.
National Treasury said Elgeyo Marakwet, Homa Bay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Kwale, Laikipia, Makueni, Nyamira Nyandarua, Nyeri Uasin Gishu and Baringo counties had settled all eligible pending bills as at June 2018 as verified and confirmed by the Office of the Attorney General.
In a summary of pending bills audit by the Office of the Auditor General as at November 28, counties such as Machakos, Nairobi, Mombasa, Narok, Vihiga, Tana River, Kirinyaga, Garissa, Turkana, Meru, West Pokot, Homa Bay, Kwale, Kisumu, Kiambu, and Nakuru owed over Sh1 billion in pending bills.