BBI: Deputy governors to cease being 'flower girls'

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (left) and his former deputy Polycarp Igathe who quit his position saying he had failed to earn the trust of his then boss.

Photo credit: File photo

Deputy governors will cease to be flower girls in county governments if the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report is adopted.

This is after the report proposed that the second in command in county governments be assigned a county executive committee portfolio by including a provision requiring county governors to designate to their deputies county executive committee portfolios.

This will in essence see the deputy governors have some semblance of control in the running of affairs in the devolved units.

While governors have clearly defined roles in the running of county governments, the same cannot be said of their deputies.

According to section 32 of the County Governments Act, 2012, a deputy governor shall deputise for the governor in the execution of the governor’s functions.

The section only says that the governor may assign the deputy governor any other responsibility or portfolio as a member of the county executive committee and even when acting in office as contemplated in Article 179(5) of the Constitution, the deputy governor shall not exercise any powers of the governor, to nominate, appoint or dismiss, that are assigned to the governor under the Constitution or other written law.

But the report by BBI is now proposing that the section be amended to require the Governor to assign to the deputy governor a County Executive Committee portfolio.

“Clause 5 of the Bill proposes to amend section 32 of the County Governments Act to require the Governor to assign to the Deputy Governor a County Executive Committee portfolio,” read in part the report.

Enacted by Parliament

Elsewhere, county governments will no longer be starved of funding with the report proposing timelines within which the County Allocation of Revenue Bill is to be introduced in the Senate and enacted by Parliament.

According to the report, the legislation – which shall divide among the counties the revenue allocated them on the basis determined according to the resolution in force under Article 217 of the Constitution – should go through the two processes within a period of 30 days from the date of enactment of the Division of Revenue Act.

“The proposed amendment specifies timelines within which the Bill shall be considered by each House and the veto power by the Senate,” the report adds.

The report also provides for the mediation committee appointed for purposes of considering the Annual Division and Allocation of Revenue Bill to consider recommendations from the Commission for Revenue Allocation, county governors and the Cabinet Minister responsible for Finance.

It further provides for the Controller of Budget to authorise the withdrawal of up to 50 percent of the minimum amount of the equitable share guaranteed to county governments, where the Division of Revenue Act for a financial year has not been passed by Parliament before the beginning of that financial year.

In the proposed amendments, governors will nominate two members to represent county in the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) – the Commission determines what is to be shared between the two levels of government as well as develop a formula guiding counties on how to share monies allocated to them from the national government.

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