Counties still spending more than 70% on wages, new report shows

County governments have defied the public financial management regulations set by the Commission for Revenue Allocation last year in which they are required not to spend more than 35 per cent of their allocations on wages.

In an Economic Survey report released today by the Kenya Institute for Public Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) most counties have maintained a wage bill consuming at least 75 per cent of their total allocations.

The report reveals that governors have continued to employ more staff against the resolution which envisaged that the counties train the staff inherited from the defunct county councils.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Kippra head of research Eldah Onsumu observed that newly recruited employees have doubled the wage bill and at the same time led to duplication of duties especially on devolved functions for which the national governments seconded employees.

“Counties have continued to employ new staff leading to an increased wage bill against the wish of CRA. Little has been left to cater for development,” Dr Onsumu stated.

The report show that the devolved units are still stifling with ghost workers menace due to lack of a clear policy that separates new employees, those inherited from defunct authorities as well those seconded from the national government.

“Counties are still dealing with ghost workers as there are no clear policies to guide the human resource issues,” the report found out.

It further reveals that counties have no capacity to generate their own revenues, deal with inherited costs and create incentives for fiscal responsibility.

They rely up to 89 per cent from the National Treasury against the CRA proposed 55 per cent.

The report suggest that CRA to change tact on its current sharing formulae which is based on equitable resource allocation to need based allocation.

“CRA should allocate based on needs rather to equate. It should be done after costing both national and county functions to ensure fairness,” it recommends.

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