Deputy President William Ruto has urged County governments to play their role to ensure there is accountability when it comes to revenue collection and budgets. He reiterated the national government’s commitment to ensuring devolution is a success, and funds are released to County governments on time. Governors have in the past decried the delays that have hampered the release of funds to the Counties, and speaking in Kakamega during the Devolution Conference on Thursday, DP Ruto said there is a need to expedite the release of funds to Counties.
He affirmed that the government lives within its means, “The money we disburse to Counties is money collected from the Kenyan taxpayers, we don’t have another support,” he said, “We don’t have any intentions to delay the release of funds for a day or two when the resources are available.”
DP Ruto said year after year the required amount is released without missing any mark, “We release all the required amount of money even though there may be delays. At the end of the financial year, we ensure all the money is released to the Counties and this shows you that as a government we are committed,” he said.
The Deputy President, however, noted that the pending bill for the Counties is Kshs 99 billion, saying it arose due to a disconnect created by procurement processes from committed units in the County governments which were beyond the available resources, “Sometimes it happens that some resources expected from the local revenue didn’t match up so we need to scale up at County and national level to do our best to deal with delays,” he said, adding that Counties should play their role by ensuring they don’t overcommit on resources they don’t have.
He further revealed that he had directed the National Treasury through the Intergovernmental budget and economic council to liaise with the controller of budget and auditor general to assist County governments to resolve the financial issues.