Governors and the National Treasury have inked a deal to begin the overhaul of the electronic system used in government procurement.
The deal signals a win for the county leaders, who have been crusading for the repair of the integrated financial management system (Ifmis) due to what they termed security lapses that exposed it to fraud and abuse.
Ifmis has also been linked to the loss of billions of shillings both at the national and county government departments, in what Auditor-General Edward Ouko referred to as glaring loopholes, including remote access by non-users as well as duplication of identities.
The Council of Governors on Wednesday said in a statement that the county bosses had agreed to form a technical committee alongside the national government that will address the concerns raised on the safety and effectiveness of the system.
“Governors will be incorporated in the steering and technical committee to improve the levels of accountability in Ifmis,” said the statement.
The decision was reached during the final Inter-governmental Budget Executive Council meeting held at Deputy President William Ruto’s Karen residence, the governors said.
“The meeting also agreed on a review of the legal notice on the formation of county assets and liabilities committees to fast-track the identification, verification and validation of the assets and liabilities of the defunct local authorities,” the governors added.
Launched in 2013, Ifmis has received opposition from the county bosses, who termed it a ploy by the national government to control disbursement and use of devolved funds.
Its collapse was last year blamed for grounding development projects and operations in counties, with governors saying they were unable to access funds from their accounts at Central Bank of Kenya to finance operations.
Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya and Finance Committee Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said some counties had been forced to take overdrafts from banks and use locally collected revenues to run their offices.
Wednesday’s meeting also ratified the increase of fuel levy from 15 per cent to 25 per cent in what governors said will enable counties to manage roads within their jurisdiction.