Cases of individuals and firms experiencing unmet financial obligations including failure to repay loans are widespread all over the country. Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) have persistently failed to pay for goods and services provided by the private sector, including SMEs as well as firms owned by the vulnerable segment of the Kenya population including women youths and persons with disabilities (AGPO), some of the bills have remained unpaid for over five years.
According to an audit conducted by the Treasury last year, the entire stock of pending bills that both the national and county governments owe suppliers stands at Ksh 225 billion. Out of this, Ksh 51 billion owed by counties has been approved for payment and another Sh37 billion is pending review.
“As per returns submitted by the national government MDAs (ministries, departments, and agencies), pending bills as at the end of the 2018/2019 financial year amounted to Sh96.1 billion. These should form a first charge on the 2019/2020 budgetary allocation before entering into any new commitments. There should not be discretion on this directive gave the need to enforce strict financial compliance,” said acting treasury CS Ukur Yatani.
Counties meanwhile account for a lesser pending bills subtotal of Ksh.64.2 billion with Ksh.28 billion making for eligible/verified amounts from the recent special audit by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). In totality, the national government owes Sh137 billion, including Sh42 billion in historical bills that have accumulated over the years. Of them MDAs, 6 had no outstanding bills, 14 made some efforts to clear the outstanding, while others did not make any significant efforts to cleat the bill by 31 October.
The National treasury released Ksh 65 Billion to county government by 31 October 2019, a final disbursement that was meant to pay off all pending bills. But only 12 county government commendably complied with the directive and cleared their eligible pending bills. As per the county government, 15 out of the 47 counties have notoriously failed to make any efforts towards the payment of the bills including; Nairobi, Narok, Machakos, Mombasa, Baringo, Garissa, Kirinyaga, Tharaka Nithi, Migori, Isiolo, Tana River, Vihiga, Nandi, Kiambu, and Bomet.
Acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani yesterday in a press statement said the 15 counties have until December 1 to clear pending bills or risk losing out on cash disbursement from the national government.