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Government Ministries to Pay Pending Bills Worth Kshs 96.1 Billion

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The Kenyan government has hit out at the inability of government departments to finish paying their pending bills.

In a statement, the Acting Cabinet Secretary of Finance, Ambassador Ukur Yattani has stated that government parastatals, departments and agencies have been unable to meet their obligations when it comes to paying for debts, worth Kshs 96.1 billion based on estimates from the 2019/2018 financial year.

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” 15 counties have not demonstrated any effort to clear the stock of their eligible pending bills in accordance with the law. These counties have persistently failed to pay eligible pending bills which in practice should be a first charge before on the subsequent financial year,” he said in a statement.
The effect of this delayed payment, Amb Yatani says, is  that it has not only has it had an adverse effect on the economy but also the supposed recipient of such payments, such as businesses, which had pending bills that stretch back to as far back as five years ago.
“We have observed that Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the National and County governments have persistently failed to pay for goods and services paid for by the private sector, including Small and Micro Enterprises (SME’s), as well as firms owned by vulnerable segments of the population, such as women, youth and persons with disabilities (also known as AGPO),” reads the statement

 

Such pending bills by the counties are contrary to Section 94 the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) of 2012.

” Failure of the national government NDMA’s and County Government to pay outstanding bills that are authentic and due is a material breach of the PFMA, which warrants National Treasury intervention in the manner contemplated under 255 of the Constitution,” reads the statement from Amb Yatani.

His statement goes on further to add: “In this regard, National Government MDA’s and County Governments that have not made any effort to settle outstanding bills in the financial year 2019/2020 are in material breach of the PFMA (1) (a),” reads the statement.”

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Amb. Yatani further says that it has had led to an increment in poverty levels and decreased levels of employment.

He, however, points out that there have been 12 counties that have been able to comply with clearing their pending bills. These include: Elegeyo Marakwet, Homa Bay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Kwale, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Uasin Gishu.

Other counties, however, are yet to fully comply with paying their pending bills, observes the statement from Amb Ukur Yatani.

These include: Taita Taveta, Turkana, Kisumu, Meru, Samburu, Nakuru, Murang’a, Mandera, Busia, Marsabit, Kitui, West Pokot, Embu, Kakamega, Wajir, Siaya, Bungoma and Lamu.

Amb Yattani says that there are mitigation efforts that the government can take to mitigate the pending bills by some of the 15 counties, including Narok, Machakos, Vihiga, Isiolo, Tana River, Migori, Tharaka Nithi, Bomet, Garissa, Kiambu, Baringo, Nandi and Mombasa.

” To invoke the powers under section 97 of the PFMA to stop transfers to all the 53 National Government MDA’s that have not demonstrated any effort to clear any pending bills by December 1st, 2019,” states Amb Ukur Yatani.

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