Assembly Committee on Budget and Appropriations was on Monday inducted on the Kakamega County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP) for the Financial Year 2024/2025 by officers from the County Departments of Budget and Finance. The document was prepared and submitted to the County Assembly by the County Treasury then later tabled and committed to the relevant Committee on Tuesday 19th February for consideration.

Among the key components that were highlighted during the induction included performance in preceding financial year, priorities, projections and ceilings. Speaking during his presentation, the Director of Budget CPA Dennis Lusuli outlined that the document met requirements by the law and was in alignment with the National objectives. “Hon. Members, the County Fiscal Strategy Paper is prepared in accordance with Section 117 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012,” stated CPA Lusuli, “…and the County will focus on health sanitation and hygiene, wealth creation, food security, education, social development and good governance,” he added in his opening remarks.

According to the document, the County’s projected total revenue is at Kshs. 16.405 Billion within which Equitable Share is at Kshs. 13.105 Billion, Kshs. 2.2 Billion from the Own Source Revenue while Kshs. 1.1 Billion being the projected balance brought forward by the Exchequer from the previous year (2023/2024). Public Service and Administration takes the lion’s share with a projected ceiling of Kshs. 6.945 Billion, Health Services has Kshs. 1.801 Billion, Ward-based projects which according to CPA Lusuli are to be transferred to their respective departments have are at Kshs. 1.2 Billion, Social Services, Youth and Sports has Kshs. 974.2 Million while Agriculture, Livestock, Cooperatives and Fisheries has Kshs. 795.7 Million among the top five. Roads, Public Works and Energy has Kshs. 788.8 Million followed by Education, Science and Technology department with a ceiling of Kshs. 563.5 Million. County Public Service Board has the least projected ceiling of Kshs. 29 Million.

County Chief Officer of Economic Planning CPA Samson Otieno advised that the document under review gives a wider perspective of the projected priorities and that specific prioritized areas shall be narrowed down to and reflect the main Budget Estimates document. CPA Otieno further urged Members of County Assembly (MCAs) to scrutinize the document and raise their concerns with relevant departments during interrogations. In response to concerns raised by the Committee as to why some ceilings had been revised downwards, the Director of Planning CPA Cyrus Ondari attributed the deductions to the constrained county resource envelope. The leader of majority Hon. Philip Maina urged Committee members to be extra keen while analyzing the document in order to point out areas they feel should be addressed by the County Executive. “Give the document the seriousness it deserves for the benefit of the rest of members,” remarked the majority leader. Hon. Maina however, registered his worry with delays in submission of crucial documents (CFSP included) to the County Assembly by the County Executive and advised the latter to improve.

The Chairperson to the Committee Hon. Gildon Shioso noted that implementation of ward-based projects as well as ceilings of different departments were of great concern and that the concerns were to be addressed with some urgency before the end of the Financial Year 2023/2024. Earlier on, the Committee on Budget and Appropriations deliberated on its work plan in relation to the timelines and resolved to request for more time for interrogations on the document, public engagement through public participation and compiling of a comprehensive report on the same. Once the extension is approved by the House, the reported will be expected in the House on 26th March, 2024 for deliberations and adoption.