Article Index


County Finance



 Prudent. Proper. Accountable.




Part of County Revenue will come from the National government as part of fiscal devolution, while some will be raised from local sources through taxation, services, levies, permits, rents, service-charge, and rates, etc. Counties will also be able to borrow externally under certain conditions.


The county government will prepare and present its budget in a standardised format, with the assistance of the SRC, the Controller of Budget and the National Government. This budget must also muster the support and approval of the local County Assembly.


Counties will manage own finances but under strict regulation and procedures under the law governing appropriation of funds; and even then, no withdrawal will be permitted unless authorised by the independent office of the Controller of Budget, who shall report to Parliament every 4 months. Thereafter, yearly audits by the Auditor-General (also an independent office), will be made public, and scrutinised by Parliament and respective County Assemblies.





County Finance under the New Constitution is meant to replace the inefficient and wasteful Constituency Development Fund CDF, (as well as the Economic Stimulus Program ESP, Local Authority Transfer Fund, LATF; Kazi kwa Vijana, KKV, and other similar programs), which basically have little to show in terms of sustained success, efficiency and management.

Although the CDF and its sister funds, were well intentioned, "....... they should be abolished and (their) functions integrated with the County Governments. The reasons for this are, firstly, that devolution achieves the aims of CDF, secondly, CDF duplicates the functions of county governments ........" (Nyamori, 2013).

As we have seen at the top of this discussion, Kenya's decentralisation under the Constitution of Kenya 2010, gives the people of the regions a direct say on how they want to be governed by allowing them to originate and determine their development policies and priorities, thereby granting every one of the 47 Counties shared fiscal responsibility with the National government. Chapter 12 - Public Finance, Part 1 Principals and Framework of Public Finance, Article 201, excerpts:

201 (b) .......(ii) revenue raised nationally shall be shared equitably among national and county governments; ........

A County's share of this revenue will be placed in a Revenue Fund. Part 2 - Other Public Funds:

207. (1) There shall be established a Revenue Fund for each county government, into which shall be paid all money raised or received by or on behalf of the county government ........

Simply put, this Fund is to the County what the Consolidated Fund is to the Country.

As our devolution matures, some of the money into a County may be kept in other supplementary funds created by law:

(4) An Act of Parliament may— (b) provide for the establishment of other funds by counties ........

Indeed, a motion to create a Graduates Enterprise Fund was raised in the Senate in June 2013 to create an interest-free revolving fund for unemployed graduates in all the 47 Counties.

Kenya's devolution is intended to be inclusive and, specifically, see to it that there is no more marginalisation of any group(s) at the National level, and further still, ensure the participation and representation of minorities living in any sub-national region. This same principal applies on the administration of public funds belonging to the Counties (i.e the Revenue Fund):

201. The following principles shall guide all aspects of public finance in the Republic— (b) the public finance system shall promote an equitable society, and in particular— (iii) expenditure shall promote the equitable development of the country, including by making special provision for marginalised groups and areas;

In fact, proponents of the CDF Act, cite Article 201 (and others), to push the argument that the Fund mitigates against potential marginalisation of citizens at the grassroots.



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