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Governors root for new cash sharing calculation

Fred Aminga @faminga

A Council of Governors (CoG) finance and economic planning meeting has proposed fewer parameters be considered to arrive at the proposed third generation formula in sharing revenue between the national government and counties.

The forum proposed three parameters starting with population density, poverty levels and size of a county be considered as main factors in sharing the national cake.

The current or second-generation formula, which is set to expire at the end of this financial year (June 30, 2019), has enabled counties to receive Sh314 billion sharable revenue based on six parameters.

Speaking on behalf of the County Executive Committees (CECs) in charge of finance and economic planning yesterday, Wycliffe Oparanya — who is the vice chair of the CoG finance and economic planning and also Kakamega County governor— said there is also need to use credible data since what is available is outdated.

“I would advise careful piloting to be done with the right figures, especially with regard to population data and poverty surveys, since our data is more than a decade old,” he said.

The governor said the national government should invest more money in this, and if possible await for the 2019 national population census as basis of the third formula, since the data used in the second phase was based on the 2009 census.

“In 2009 (when he was minister in charge of planning), I said the census had a problem and was taken to court for asking for changes in the data. Even the data on poverty level, the new information are only isolated cases given by the World Bank,” he said, adding that if nothing changes, these are the same figures which could be used to informs the debate going forward.

In the recent past, various stakeholders have poked holes in methods used to allocate revenue and there is need to correct it to promote equity and ensure revenue allocated is aligned to devolved functions assigned to every county.

Commission for Revenue Allocation is currently making recommendations concerning the basis for equitable sharing of revenue raised by national and county governments, and has embarked on seeking views from the public.

Proposals will be used to inform the preparation of the third revenue sharing basis which will be used to share revenues among counties for a period of five years, effective 2019/2020 financial year.

During the forum, the CECs also said there is need to sort out delay of funds from national government to fast-track development and help sort out pending bills which have made doing business at counties difficult.

Oparanya said devolving services at Treasury and the Controller of Budget will ensure that services can be provided closer to the county offices.

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