The delayed passage and drama over the 2018/2019 Homa Bay County budget is a matter of grave concern to leaders as well as residents of the county. Once again we are proving the dubious reputation that our county can only be used as a bad example.
The Executive is accused of submitting budget documents to the Assembly outside the timelines prescribed by the PFM Act. As a result we are in a new financial year without an approved budget. The consequence is what Americans call a shutdown; nothing will move in the county until this impasse is resolved, subject to section 134 of the PFM Act.
I call on the Assembly to burn the midnight oil and meticulously consider these budget estimates to ensure the Appropriations and Finance Bills are urgently brought to the House. This does not mean the Assembly should be blind to the content; we would rather delay the process by a day instead of passing a fishy budget.
Once the Appropriations and Finance Bills are enacted, the Assembly must revisit the PFM Act and take stern action against members of the Executive found to be responsible for the delays. It is unacceptable for the Executive to impose its own timelines and to decide which parts of the PFM Act it chooses to follow.
Likewise, the Speaker must invoke the provisions of the Powers and Privileges Act and take stern action against those members who may have acted dishonourably during the budget process.
This time round we will not sit and watch our beloved county leading from behind in the devolution race. If devolution is working for other counties, we must make it work for Homa Bay.
Senator Moses Otieno Kajwang’
Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee