«MANDERA COUNTY BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW REPORT FIRST QUARTER FY 2013 /2014 OCTOBER 2013 Office of the Controller of Budget Forward Mandera County ...»
4.0.5 Declining locally collected revenue There was tremendous decline in the revenue collection from July and September 2013; this could be attributed to the lapse in controls over revenue collection. This was the case even in the last quarter even though the county is still optimistic in achieving its target that is too high to achieve as compared to the current score. The banking of the revenue and collections of the county do not match; this also poses another serious question on the spending of the revenue that has been discontinued by section 22 of the county government public finance management transition act 2013 and 109(2) of PFM act 2012 which requires that all the monies raised or received by or on behalf of the county government to be banked in the CRF.
4.0.6 Lack of Awareness on the budget One of the key pillar of transparency in budget implementation and utilization of public fund is the public participation in governance and implementation of the budget. The county is yet to rationalize that, the public even claim they have not being involved in any financial process in the county, like the county integrated development plan have been crafted in Nairobi and they do not own it.
Further, Section 26 (3) of the public procurement and disposal act 2005 provides that, all procurement shall be within the approved budget of the procuring entity and shall be planned by the procuring entity concerned through an annual procurement plan; this will lead to proper monitoring and evaluation of the county projects.
4.0.8 Inadequate physical infrastructure The commencement of the county government marked a great milestone in the history of our nation because these decentralized system is attractive and engaging as most of the resources are devolved and decentralized. However, every positive step has its other side of negative, the challenges that the county government encountered immediately after it inherited the former councils was lack of appropriate office space to accommodate the county departments, even though the National government allocated infrastructural grant of Kshs 61 million through TA for the county to set up the necessary infrastructures, the county government is still in rented facilities like the HQ and the county service board, this will put pressure on the already scarce resource by increasing the operational cost of the county government.
5 RECOMMENDATIONS For Mandera county to exploit fully its potentials and develop, there has to be lasting solution for this fatal attacks from the terrorists, the county government has to work round the clock to strategize modalities of overcoming these attacks like creation of community policing adoption of peace and resolution mechanisms for the coexistence of the warring communities.
Building necessary capacity for the county staff is one great measure that will push the county to competitive level. Imparting proper skills needed for the daily operation is of paramount importance especially on financial system so that accurate and reliable financial information is relayed to the public and management for good decision making.
The county treasury to hasten the submission of the financial report and information required for the production of OCOB monthly and quarterly report to avoid unnecessary delay in the release of the exchequer and report.
Operationalization and initializing the use of G-Pay and IFMIS is of great importance, the manual system could lead to allot of avoidable errors, the county has to hasten the usage of the financial system to tighten the expenditure control mechanisms (ECM) and there has to be developed network infrastructures for the system to run smoothly as this will ensure availability of accurate and reliable information for wise decision making and planning on timely basis.
It is of great use for the county government to come up new and innovative ways of collecting revenues. Stringent interventions should be put in place to increase the revenue streams, strengthen controls of the revenue and seal all the probable leakages for them to rationalize their target in the Cash flow analysis. There has to be system for recording the revenue like the LAIFORMs of the councils because this manual system is not favoring the process.
County government to implement stringent expenditure control especially on the utilities, hospitality and allowances since fast-trucking is very hard when manual systems are used. There
has to be effective and efficient monitoring framework too to truck the expenditures to ensure adequate supervision of the budgeted programs and project, this will enhance openness, accountability and transparency.
The county government to embark on public awareness program on how the budget is implemented, there is need for Capacity building on budget and budget implementation. The county residents are illiterate and they do not know how the devolved funds will be utilized, public has to be engaged in any governance matter for them to own up the whole devolution process There is need for proper planning especially on procurements, where the public fund is used, the procurement process and principles has to be followed to letter and the procured item/facility has to be effectively used, Adequate procurement plans will assist in carrying out carrying procurement process early enough to mitigate the delays associated with procurement and disposal laws.
To curb the recent problem of the shortages of the office space, the county government has to use the budgeted developmental fund appropriately to come up with county and sub county office so that the functions and mandates are executed smoothly these will reduce letter the pressure on the operation cost of the budget.
In regards to the budget, the office of the controller of budget notes with great concern that the county government to hasten the requisition and the subsequent absorption of developmental(capital) fund as there is great need to put more focus on those activities that contribute to the developments of the county economy, so far the county requested only 407 million to finance the recurrent operations, this could be due to the problems associated with procurement process and lack of adequate capacity for project management. Delays in requisitioning results in delay in non- utilization of the funds hence low absorption rate which will be of great concern as most of the fund for the county is meant for development.
Reporting system and delays of the information and requirements from the county government are of great concern too, this will cause delay in preparation and compilation of the reports and at times leads to underreporting. This need to be addressed urgently as It is likely to affect the budget implementation process. The other concern is the expenditure and trucking of those expenditures, the county has to invest in system that will produce expenditure returns just by a click of button.
The county government has to sensitize the county residents on the proper public fund management mechanisms like budget awareness forums. This will later address the under fall in revenue collection, there should be interrogation of the wide gap between the revenue collection and the projection and the necessary mechanisms to swerve the trend be drawn as adequate collection of revenues is critical for successful budget implementation, the county has to embrace new and innovative ways of broadening the revenue base as well as deepening the its streams.