Inter- governmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) has revealed that counties have more assets than is contained in their roll of assets.
The committee, which was to verify and validate all assets and liabilities from the defunct local authorities told Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa on Monday evening they discovered that the 47 counties had a total of 62,000 parcels of land, an increase of 17,000 pieces of land over the 45,000 that had previously been reported.
Kakamega declared a paltry 700 parcels of land but it was discovered its over 5,000 more, an increase from 34% to 600%, said the team in an interim report handed to Wamalwa.
“We commend this team and what stands out in this report is that hither to unknown by counties is what really is the assets and liabilities of their respective counties. When we had local authorities, some of the records, some assets had disappeared and others encroached on,” he noted.
The CS urged the committee to speed up the completion of the final report by end of the month so that beginning of December the full report can be presented to Inter-Governmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC).
“Once we have the final report, we will be discussing with Council of Governors, present to IBEC for support and once approved, this will be the start of a firm foundation knowing counties in terms of their worth,” Wamalwa said.
He however urged County Governments to look into the specific recommendation that the committee has given for each County and engage on the issues raised and address those that need to be addressed.
Wamalwa said the Interim report was to be completed early this year but due to challenges experienced by the team their mandate was extended to August.
He congratulated the Prof Karega Mutahi-led team for a job well done, saying that it had only utilised 10% of the Ksh 4 billion set for the job.
“We appreciate the team for using much lesser amount than anticipated. What would have cost billions has only cost a few million shillings,” he said.
Prof Mutahi thanked both the National and County governments for being involved saying the draft report is the first consolidated report on assets and liabilities of the defunct local government.
“Once accepted by the IBEC it should be the basis upon wihich County governments can begin to do their accounts in totality,” he said.
Prof Mutahi noted that for the last six years, counties have not listed any of their assets and once complete they will have a chance to include them in their annual accounts.
He said as a committee, they are working towards moving to the next stage that will involve looking at assets that will be devolved to country governments.
“We have started looking at those and soon we will be up and running to validate and list them. We will develop a programme that will enable counties to receive transferred functions and assets without waiting for a committee to do the work,” the Chairman said.
The second phase once complete and is supported, hopefully the Country can rest assured that all public assets will be protected and listed.
However, Prof Mutahi reiterated that the report does not say that everything has been listed, noting that there are questions to be answered and counties should look at the comments made by the team on specific issues that have emerged and address them.
The IGRTC took over all the residual functions of the defunct Transitional Authority following the expiry of its tenure on March 4, 2015.
The IGTRC is a body formed to establish a framework for consultation and co-operation between the National and County Governments and was mandated to take over the residual functions of the Transition Authority.