Senators to wait longer for Sh300m to monitor governors

Friday February 19 2016

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.  PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
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Senators will have to wait longer to get the Sh300 million to monitor and evaluate what governors are doing in the counties as the Treasury is still reviewing regulations to guide how the allocation will be spent.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said that his ministry had not finished fine-tuning the regulations for the fund when he appeared before the Senate Finance Committee.

“We have seen some regulations given to us. We are studying them to ensure that the oversight role is done within the legal framework provided by the PFM law. We have faced challenges in just creating funds and allocating to legislators,” he told the committee on Wednesday.

Senators have been promised they will get Sh332 million through a supplementary budget to be brought for approval in Parliament.

The CS, however, did not indicate when the additional budget would be tabled in the National Assembly.

Once the regulations are in place, the senators will get an allocation for the role every financial year.

PERFORM ROLES

Senators have been pushing for the allocation saying they were not able to perform their roles as indicated in Article 96 of the Constitution because of lack of adequate facilitation.

An attempt to given them Sh1 billion this financial year was dropped by MPs and they have had to make do without.

Mr Rotich said the Treasury wanted to be more careful so as not to face legal challenges like the Affirmative Action Fund for the 47 women representatives that has been challenged in court.

“Funds for the affirmative action have been stopped by the judiciary and we are now reviewing again its regulations. The CDF has faced challenges too. So we want to look at the draft regulations to ensure that we don’t run into problems,” said the CS.

Despite the delay in the drafting of proper regulations, the CS promised the senators that they will finally get the money so as to be able to watch over the billions sent to the governors every financial year.

MAKE SENSE

The lawmakers have argued that it did not make sense to send governors billions of shillings and then deny Senate oversight money to look after the billions.

“We want to finalise the regulations and see if we can adjust the supplementary budget and allocate the money for oversight. It makes sense that the Senate is involved in playing oversight the funds that go the counties,” he added.

During a retreat for Senate leadership in Mombasa last weekend, the lawmakers said the Sh332 million they were to receive before June was inadequate and requested that they be given Sh1 billion.

Nominated senators have also asked to be included in the fund.

“We have had discussions on this oversight fund since last year. By and large, we want to see how to provide this in this financial year. We want to see how to adjust the budget of Parliament to provide for this and going forward we need to ensure that this is provided every financial year.

"The issue was we needed to develop a framework on how Senate will oversight,” said the CS.