Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has sent 143 revenue staff on a 60-day compulsory leave.
The governor also announced measures targeting to plug a Sh600 million shortfall in the county’s own revenue collection.
The move comes as the 47 counties grapple with a financial crunch following a stalemate between the Senate and the National Assembly over the Division of Revenue Allocation Bill 2019.
Mr Oparanya, who is the chair of the Council of Governors (CoG), said no funds had been released to counties for development projects and the devolved units should come up with measures to improve local revenue collection.
He asked his deputy Prof Philip Kutima, county executives and chief officers to coordinate revenue collection in the 13 sub-counties for the next one month and ensure set targets are met.
“You must ensure I’m briefed daily on how much has been collected in each of the sub-counties,” said Mr Oparanya.
The county chief said county executives and chief officers should join sub-county administrators in coordinating revenue collection in the county which had dropped to Sh580 million.
He said the county had a potential of collecting Sh1.5 billion a year in revenues.
“Counties can no longer continue depending on shareable revenue and there need for them to come up with measures to improve own revenue collection to ensure services are not disrupted,” said Mr Oparanya.
The governor said if the revenue collection is improved, the funds will be spent on development projects while allocations from sharable revenue will go into key infrastructural projects.
“At the moment, no county is receiving money for development because of the impasse on the Division of Revenue Allocation Bill. I have taken some measures that will help us to move forward since there is no development money being released to counties,” said Mr Oparanya.
He said the introduction of the cashless system on revenue collection was meant to seal loopholes and boost collection.
Mr Oparanya said the revenue staff should proceed on compulsory leave with immediate effect.
Sub-county administrators and ward administrators will take up the functions of the revenue clerks.
Mr Oparanya said the revenue staff will report to the County Public Service Board for redeployment upon their return.
For the second time this month, Governor Oparanya said he in the processing of reorganising his administration to improve service delivery to residents.
He warned county executives and chief officers who fail to deliver that they will be sacked.
Mr Oparanya appointed Ms Beatrice Memo, who retired from the Kenya Revenue Authority to be in charge of the County Revenue Agency for one year.