State plans to transfer all county functions in a year

Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee Chairperson Kithinji Kiragu and board members John Burungu and Angeline Honyo

Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee Chairperson Kithinji Kiragu and board members John Burungu and Angeline Honyo when they appeared before the Senate Committee on County Public Investments and Special Funds in Nairobi on March 16, 2023.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

The government has committed to complete the transfer of all functions constitutionally earmarked for the counties by June next year.

The Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) said it has begun the process to unbundle all the pending functions and assets before transferring them to county governments within a year.

The State agency’s chairperson Kithinji Kiragu said they are currently in the process of identifying the pending functions as well as determining the accompanying budget for the implementation of the functions.

Appearing before the Senate’s Public Investments and Special Funds Committee chaired by Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi, Mr Kiragu said the identification of the functions and the budget will be concluded in three months.

“In the next three months, we want to come to a situation where it is clear which functions are going to move from the national state departments and agencies, including state corporations, to county governments,” Mr Kiragu said. “We want to ensure that by the end of June 2024, we shall essentially close that chapter with regards to the devolved functions.” 

Ruto order

In September last year, President William Ruto directed the ministry in charge of devolution to accelerate the transfer of devolved functions to the counties while also instructing the National Treasury to make available funds to facilitate the transfer.

Already, said Mr Kiragu, multi-agency technical teams have been established to guide the final unbundling processes within April and provide a clear picture of the functions to be transferred.

He explained that the process will involve costing the functions, staff to be impacted and payroll costs, resources deployment and budget rationalisation, as well as facilities to be transferred.

Thereafter, the teams will present their reports to sector forums under the guidance of IGRTC for review, amendment or improvement and validation after which the final report will be presented before the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council chaired by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua for review and endorsement in May.

In June, parties will be working on modalities for coordinating the implementation.

“The National Treasury will spearhead the budget rationalisation process while the Public Service Commission will effect adjustments of payroll,” said Mr Kiragu.

Besides the functions and the budget, IGRTC is also identifying assets, policies and laws that will be amended to streamline the transfer. Mr Kiragu said they have completed the identification, valuation and validation of assets and liabilities that were previously under the defunct authorities in readiness for their takeover by county governments.


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