Agnes Odhiambo, Controller of Budget
ANNUAL BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW
There has been an improvement in spending of the money allocated to counties in the last financial year, according to a report by Agnes Odhiambo the Controller of Budget (COB). The report, The Annual Budget Implementation Review, cites that absorption of funds improved from Sh86.7 billion (32.2 per cent) during the third quarter to Sh169.4 billion (64.9 per cent) at the end of the year.
The counties had been allocated Sh261 billion in the 2013/2014 budget, whereas Sh160 billion was for recurrent expenditure and Sh100 billion for development.
According to the report, which is the first of its kind from the COB, at least 26 counties recorded an absorption rate (actual expenditure as a percentage of approved budget) of more than 61 per cent of their share of the Sh261 billion allocated.
NYERI, BOMET AND NYANDARUA LEAD THE WAY
Nyeri County attained the highest overall absorption rate at 93.9 per cent of the annual budget followed by Bomet (93.5 per cent) and Nyandarua (85.3 per cent). Tana River (41.3 per cent), Turkana (41.9 per cent) and Lamu (44.2 per cent) were listed as counties with the lowest absorption rates.
Nairobi County recorded the highest expenditure as a proportion of funds released at 168.7 per cent, followed by Tharaka Nithi (102 per cent) and Nyeri (98.5 per cent).
Machakos, Wajir and Turkana counties recorded the highest spending on development at Sh2.7 billion, Sh2.6 billion and Sh1.9 billion respectively. Tana River County had the least development expenditure at Sh32.2 million, followed by Kisumu (Sh98.9 million) and Mombasa (Sh107.9 million).
Counties only spend Sh 151.6 billion (58.1 per cent) of the aggregated budget out of the Sh254.1 billion that they were expected to spend.
The report cites infrastructural challenges like the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), delays in releasing of funds by the national government and inadequate staff capacity as the key contributors to the poor absorption.
It is important that to build and maintain better roads, health facilities, provide clean water and the many other services that Kenya and Kenyans so desperately need, that the budget allocated for these tasks is spent and spent effectively, rather than lying unused in county bank accounts.