The Auditor-General has flagged four counties for making illegal contributions to the Council of Governors (CoG) to cover expenditure, a function meant for the national government.
In her latest report for the 2018/2019 financial year, Nancy Gathungu said Samburu, Nyandarua, Bomet and Baringo counties made irregular payments to defray CoG expenses.
Samburu County paid Sh5.6 million, Baringo Sh5.1 million, Bomet Sh5 million, while Nyandarua paid Sh6 million.
“The payment was made contrary to Section 37 of the Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012, which provides that all operational expenses of the Council of Governors should be met by the national government,” stated the report.
For Nyandarua, the funds were recorded as being membership fees, dues and subscriptions to professional and trade bodies.
According to Ms Gathungu, counties have been channeling funds to the CoG illegally as the mandate to fund the council, whose offices are at Delta House in Westlands, Nairobi, lies with the national government.
But governors have in the past defended the move saying the counties’ remittances bridge CoG funding gaps.
However, counties have faced challenges justifying their contributions to CoG.
In 2017, the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee in a damning report recommended that 10 governors be prosecuted for violating the law by making payment to CoG.
According to the Intergovernmental Relations Act, operational costs of CoG must be met by the national government through the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.