At least 14 counties risk being starved of funds by the National Treasury following their failure to clear pending bills by December 1st in line with a presidential directive.
Appearing before the Senate finance committee, acting Controller of budget Stephen Masha said out of 15 counties that had been warned only Baringo County has complied.
Two days after expiry of national treasury’s ultimatum on counties to clear pending bills, the controller of budget appeared before the senate’s finance committee to brief on the progress.
The acting controller of budget Stephen Masha informed Senators that only one of 15 counties have complied with the President’s directive issue during this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations.
The 14 counties blacklisted for pending payments are Nairobi, Machakos, Narok, Vihiga, Isiolo, Tana River, Migori, Tharaka Nithi, Bomet, Kirinyaga, Nandi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Garissa.
National Treasury has threatened to halt the transfer of funds to these counties. At the same time, Senators have indicated the intention to formulate legislation that will give controller of budget powers to initiate mechanisms to compel counties to pay pending bills.
A special audit by the Office of the Auditor-General verified and approved payments of an amount of Ksh 51 billion out of a total Ksh 88 billion pending bills presented for audit.
The Controller of budget attributes the pending bills to failure by counties to align their procurement with payment plans as well as delay by Treasury to disburse funds.