The first Senate/County Assemblies Forum Legislative Summit was held in Mombasa County from the 22nd – 29th May, 2016. The Summit created a platform for positive engagement between the legislative arms of the devolved system of government and the Senate.
It brought together Senators and Members of County Assemblies from the forty seven (47) counties, constitutional commissions and independent offices as well other stakeholders.
The theme of the summit was ‘Celebrating and En-trenching Devolution through Legislation’. CRA, represented by Commissioner Amina Ahmed, presented in the first plenum on ‘Fiscal Governance and Equitable Development – Financing County Governments’.
Commissioner Amina explained how equitable sharing of national revenue is carried out based on Articles 202 (1) and (2) of the Constitution. In addition, she outlined the fundamentals of Integrated Fiscal Transfer, which include provision of adequate revenues based on assigned functions; preservation of budget autonomy, support for a fair allocation system; among others.
Commissioner Amina noted that the perception by leaders on who is entitled to get more or less and who contributes more to the national cake has blurred discussions and the passing of the second basis for revenue sharing.
She recommended that Senate and CRA consult more on financial management, build capacity of county governments and pass legislation to guide budgeting, revenue collection, expenditures, and auditing.
Mr Njeru Kirira, a Public Finance Management Consultant, informed delegates that there was need to accelerate approval of county revenue allocation and develop a fall back system in case of delays.
He cited the example of South Africa, whereby in case of delays in revenue approval, the previous years’ allocation is used as the indicative minimum for counties.
Hon. Safari Ntalala, member for Kanuni Ward, Meru County, stated that there was a need for CAF to be more involved in revenue allocation and negotiate for more resources to be sent to counties.