SRC Chair Sarah Serem
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has condemned Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) for high misuse of public funds on superfluous expenses and has threatened to abolish allowances if the trend persists.
According to Sarah Serem, the SRC Chairperson, the Commission is alarmed by the huge amounts that MCAs’ are spending on international travel, allowances and staffing of their offices which she says is outside the remuneration structure set by the commission.
“Public funds are provided in line with a commitment to serve. This is a provision that comes with responsibility; if that responsibility is disregarded, then the provision will be withdrawn without hesitation. SRC exists to safeguard the interests of the public,” said Serem.
She maintained that Kenyans have a right to service delivery and all public officers have an obligation to safeguard public funds and also made it clear that SRC will not be hesitant to act in the interest of the public.
“Every public officer must uphold integrity and promote principles of transparency and good governance as stipulated in our Constitution Articles 10, Chapter 6,” she said.
EXTRAVAGANCE IN COUNTIES
The County Budget Implementation Review report, which was released to the public in January this year, revealed questionable spending practices in the counties as unnecessary expenses on travel, personal emoluments, allowances, training and conferences took centre stage. The report covered the first quarter of the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
The report revealed that county governments spent 13.33 billion shillings ($155.2 million) from July to September 2013. These expenditures were classified into four categories: personnel emoluments, operations and maintenance, development, and servicing of debts and pending bills.
Of the total spending, 55% went towards personal emoluments, 38% for operations and maintenance, and only 7% towards development programmes.
Following a public outcry on the matter, the Deputy President William Ruto facilitated a meeting recently between the national and county governments to come up with new guidelines to curb unnecessary foreign trips by public officers.