Treasury has not disbursed Sh4.168 billion in conditional allocations to county governments, saying they failed to follow the laid down guidelines.
According to a report released by the National Treasury, some Sh3.124 billion was withheld due to failure to adhere to the requirements and Sh1.044 billion because of delays by ministry officials to submit accounting instructions.
The government usually imposes restrictions on conditional allocations.
County governments can only spend the money on specific items in their budgets.
If, for example, a county receives a conditional grant for a level five hospital, it should not put the money into any other use.
“County governments may be given additional allocations from the national share of the revenue, either conditionally or unconditionally,” Article 202 of the Constitution says.
The money that has not been disbursed includes Sh1.2 billion for Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture, Sh935.4 million for Water and Sanitation Development and Sh405.8 million for Transforming Health Systems and Universal Care.
The other amounts are Sh361.2 million for the National Agriculture and Rural Inclusive Growth Project, Sh51 million for the Kenya Urban Support Project Level II, and Sh45.3 million for Danida grant on universal Health Care in Devolved Systems.
Also held by Treasury is Sh125.3 million for the construction of county government headquarters.
Council of Governors Finance Committee chairman Ndiritu Muriithi asked Treasury to make public the reasons for withholding the money.
“Treasury should clarify what the failures are. We are alive to the fact that the allocations are made based on meeting certain specific conditions,” the Laikipia county boss said yesterday.
“It is difficult to comment on this without knowing individual failures.”
Also affected in the grants are those the National Treasury says government bureaucrats delayed the process.
“Delays by accounting officers of some ministries responsible for specific conditional grants to submit written instructions to the National Treasury to release payments as stipulated in the Guidelines for Management of Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers (2017), meant the Exchequer could not disburse the funds,” Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said in a statement.
Water Tower Protection
The programmes affected in this category are Sh528 million for the Water Tower Protection, Climate Change and Adaptation, Sh300 million for the Northern Kenya Drought Resilience and Sh216 million for Instruments for Devolution Advice.
In July, a report by the Nairobi City County Assembly showed the devolved government was missing out on at least Sh500 million in conditional grants every financial year due to misappropriation and disregarding necessary guidelines.
Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Robert Mbatia said City Hall was losing 60 per cent of what it was supposed to get as grants on flimsy reasons like not having work plans and diverting the allocations to other uses.
Mr Mbatia said the county government had missed out on Sh500 million in annual health grants for 500-bed capacity hospitals since 2014, translating to Sh3.5 billion.
He added that Nairobi has most of Kenya’s health centres but the county government had failed to upgrade Mama Lucy Kibaki, Mbagathi, Pumwani Maternity, Mutuini and others to county referral hospitals in order to qualify for the funding.