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THE STATUS OF TRANSITION TO DEVOLVED GOVERNMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONSTITUTION AND THE TRANSITION TO DEVOLVED GOVERNMENT ACT 2012

This press statement is issued jointly by: (a). The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC): (b). Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA); (c). Public Service Commission (PSC); and (d). The Transition Authority (TA).

Section 15 (2) (d) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 mandates CIC to monitor the implementation of the devolved system of government efficiently. The effective implementation of an effective system of government requires collaboration and consultation between CIC, CRA, PSC and the Transition Authority.

Article 216 (1) of the Constitution requires CRA to make recommendations to Parliament concerning the basis for the equitable sharing of revenue raised by the national government between the national and county governments and among the county governments. In addition, CRA will also make recommendations on other matters concerning the financing of, and financial management by, county governments, as required by the Constitution and national legislation.

The management of human resources is a critical requisite for effective implementation of a devolved system of government. The Public Service Commission plays a critical role in the identification and secondment of interim staff on recommendation by the TA to facilitate effective and un-interrupted service delivery by county governments in the transition period.

In addition to the foregoing, the Transition Authority has the following mandate in accordance with Section 7 of the Transition to Devolved Government Act 2012; Facilitate, co-ordinate and make recommendations on various activities relating to transition to devolved system of government.

These activities include:-

  1. Analysis and phased transfer of functions in accordance with section 7 (a) of the Transition to Devolved Government Act 2012;
  2. Co-ordinate and facilitate the development of county budgets during the first phase of transition to devolved government;
  3. Rationalization, deployment and audit of the necessary human resource to county governments;
  4. Preparation and validation of inventory of all existing assets and liabilities of central government and local governments and make recommendations for their effective management during the transition period;
  5. Assess the capacity needs of national and county governments;
  6. Recommend measures to ensure that county governments have adequate capacity during the transition period.

The following functions are not exhaustive of the activities contemplated to facilitate effective devolution.

Objective of the Statement

This statement is jointly made in recognition of: (a). the fundamental right to information in accordance with Article 35 of the Constitution Kenya ; and (b) the national values and principles set out in Article 10 of the Constitution including good governance, openness, transparency, democracy and participation of the people of Kenya.

CIC, CRA, PSC and TA wish to inform the people of Kenya on the status of preparedness of the transition to devolved government in relation to specific transition activities.

To date, the following activities have been undertaken in accordance with the Transition to Devolved Government Act, 2012 to facilitate the transition to devolved government:

1. Legislative Framework

  1. All necessary legislation required to implement the devolved system of government have been enacted. These include the County Government Act 2012, Transition to Devolved Government Act, 2012, Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011, Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012, Public Finance Management Act, 2012, Transition County Allocation of Revenue Act, 2012, Transition County Appropriation Act, 2013 and County Government Public Finance Management Transition Act, 2013.
  2. The Transition to County Allocation Revenue Act, 2012 which provides for the horizontal sharing of revenue between the respective governments is already in place. The Transition County Appropriations Act, 2013 to authorize the issuance of a sum of money out of the relevant County Revenue Fund and its application towards the service of the year ending on the 30th June, 2013 is also in place.

2. Administrative Procedures

  1. The guidelines for the recruitment of the members of the County Service Boards and the election of the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Senate have been developed;
  2. Interim standing orders for use by the County assemblies are in the process of publication;
  3. Publication of guidelines and principles of the exercise of the Executive Authority has been finalized.

3. Financial Capacity of County Governments

  1. A sum of KShs. 9.8 Billion will be disbursed to County governments with immediate effect to cover expenses relating to personnel emoluments and administrative costs of both executive and county assemblies.
  2. The Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) appropriated for the financial year 2012/13 shall be directed to county revenue accounts through an advisory and shall be applied to meet the cost of service delivery by County governments, pending budgetary estimates and allocations for the financial year next following;
  3. County Governments will be expected to raise revenue from among other sources, property rates, entertainment taxes and any other tax in accordance with Article 209 (3) of the Constitution to fund county activities. Revenue currently raised by local authorities will be directed to county revenue accounts and be managed by the County governments.
  4. The interim county treasurers that are scheduled to take office in the course of this week, will among other roles, facilitate the opening of county revenue accounts and county operational account by 4th March 2013;
  5. The County treasurers in consultation with treasurers of the local authorities in respective counties will also (a) close existing local authority accounts and (b) transfer any monies in those accounts to the newly opened county treasuries.

4. Infrastructure

We wish to confirm that offices and assembly halls for both the County Executive and the County Assemblies have been identified and are ready for occupation in each of the 47 counties;

5. Assets

  1. Recommendations have been made on the criteria to determine the transfer of previously shared assets and liabilities of government and local authorities; An asset register is in the process of being developed by the Auditor General in consultation with the TA. An interim register will be ready by 20th March for sharing with governors and other interested parties.
  2. As part of the process, an indepth and comprehensive audit of central and local government assets will also be carried out. The register will be used to track and verify all assets owned and liabilities incurred by each state organ and public entity before the general elections, for purposes of accountability.

6. Assumption of Office by Governors

  1. Guidelines on the assumption of office by governors have been finalized and published.
  2. Arrangements for the assumption of office by each Governor have been finalized.
  3. Arrangements for the administration of oaths of office for state officers at county level have been completed.

7. Human Resource Capacity

The requisite human resource has been identified and seconded to the Counties albeit on an interim basis in accordance with section 138 of the County Governments Act, 2012, section 57 o f the Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011 and section of 138 (1) of the Co-ordination of the National Government Act, 2013. In addition, the TA also confirms that Interim Transition Teams have been identified and seconded to the counties. These teams will assist the county governments carry out their functions as the counties prepare in the interim period.

The interim officials have been inducted and will be issued with letters of release by PSC.

8. Transfer of Functions

  1. The functions that may be immediately transferred to the County governments after the elections have already been gazette.
  2. Other functions to be devolved will be gazetted for effective rollout from 1st July 2013.

WORK IN PROGRESS

9. Policy Framework

The national policies on the basis of which the performance of devolved functions shall be guided are yet to be finalized and adopted. Similarly, the formulation of regulations and administrative procedures to supplement the respective statutes is underway and is expected to be finalized for approval by the next Parliament.

Conclusion

We recognize that the activities mentioned above are by no means exhaustive. They are singled out because they are fundamental to the realization of effective devolution. A lot has been done, in the run up to the establishment of county governments soon after the general election scheduled for 4th March 2013.

CIC, CRA and TA undertake to regularly inform the people of Kenya on the progress and additional activities hereafter undertaken towards full devolution of power, functions/ services and their pertinent resources.

The transition process involves all state and non-state actors and indeed the people of Kenya, whose public participation is imperative as contemplated in article 10 of the Constitution. Your unwavering support and meaningful engagement will go a long way in ensuring successful implementation of the devolved system of government in particular and the Constitution in general. Finally, we wish to remind the people of Kenya that the successful and effective realization of devolution will depend largely on the quality of leaders we elect as governors, senators, county representatives, women representatives, members of the national assembly and the president.

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