Counties owe over Sh37bn, says budget boss

Thursday March 17 2016

Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Counties owe suppliers and contractors over Sh37 billion in pending bills, the Controller of Budget says.

Ms Agnes Odhiambo told the Senate on Wednesday that the 47 governors were yet to settle the bills as of the end of the last financial year.

The unsettled bills, include Sh9.25 billion for recurrent and Sh28.21 billion for development expenditure.

In a statement read to the House by Finance Committee chairman Billow Kerrow (URP), Bungoma County had the highest pending bills of Sh2.5 billion followed by Kisii, with Sh2.5 billion.

Nakuru had Sh2.46 billion and Turkana Sh2.4 billion. Busia did not have any unsettled bills as of June 30, 2015. But Tana River failed to present its bills.

The statement on the bills had been sought by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.

Senators said they would summon governors to reveal how they incurred them and how they plan to settle them before the next elections.

“The aggregate pending bills of Sh37.46 billion are based on the annual financial reports by the county treasuries. One county, namely Tana River did not provide information on its outstanding bills as of June 30 2015,” said the controller.

Following the revelation,  the senators said it was important to find out how the bills had been accrued and how they would be repaid.

“This amount does not reflect the actual bills. I support the idea to set up a special committee to look into this matter. We would like to know the exact bills and how they were incurred,” said Busia Senator Amos Wako (ODM).