Why Governor’s choice for Executive Committee is key in administration
By David Indeje / August 21, 2017 | 2:25 pm
Twenty five (25) out of 47 county governors were sent home in the just concluded Kenya’s General Elections.
Many who lost according to county residents, failed to deliver as per their expectations.
Since the promulgation of the Constitution 2010, it brought forth devolution. Devolution involved the transfer of functions and finance, but also because it created forty-seven brand-new counties which brought together deconcentrated offices of many national ministries, local authorities, and district administrations.
First time, Governors failed to manage expectations of the people because the risk of disappointment was huge.
Article. 174 of the Constitution says the objectives of devolution among them are:
To promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya; to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them; to recognize the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development amongst others.
Further, how will the new Governors/ re-elected governors ensure a fair distribution of national resources commensurate with county needs and capacity and balancing national interests?
How will they ensure they focus on accountability should focus on both funds and performance?
How will they emphasize on central monitoring and reporting, but also maximize the involvement of citizens so they can hold their representatives accountable?
Article 232 of the Constitution equally binds all the County Governments and their elected office holders. The article sets out the Values and Principles of Public Service and they include (a) high standards of professional ethics, (b) efficient, effective and economic use of resources, (c) responsive, prompt, effective impartial and equitable provision of services, (d) accountability for administrative acts, (e) transparency and provision to the public of timely and accurate information and (f) representation of Kenya’s diverse communities.
Transparent and Accountable hiring of and appointment of persons to serve in the various offices created by the Devolved Government is the only means the Counties will get the best and truly merited persons to serve in the delivery of services to the people.
The Governors and County Assembly Ward Representatives’ success or failure in their counties will be dependent upon the performance of the County Executive Committee Members who are tasked to practically implement County Government programmes as mandated by the Constitution.
According to Art. 179 of the Constitution, the executive authority of the county is vested in, and exercised by the County Executive Committee.
The county executive committee consists of the following:
a) The county governor and the deputy county governor; and,
b) Members appointed by the county governor, with the approval of the assembly, from among persons who are not members of the assembly.
The County Government Act in s. 32 requires that the Governor in nominating members of the county executive, to ensure among others, that the composition reflects the community and cultural diversity of the county; and take into account principles of affirmative action provided in the Constitution.
The functions of a county executive committees are specified in Art. 183 of the Constitution and they are to:
a) Implement county legislation;
b) Implement, within the county, national legislation to the extent that the legislation so requires;
c) Manage and coordinate the functions of the county administration and its departments;
d) Perform any other functions conferred on it by this Constitution or national legislation;
e) Prepare proposed legislation for consideration by the county assembly; and,
f ) Provide the county assembly with full and regular reports on matters relating to the county.
The County Governors and County Ward Representatives through the County Assemblies must ensure each of the County Executive Committee Offices mirror the 18 cabinet portfolios of the National Government and so that each County Executive Committee Member is continuously tracking meticulously the flow of the National Government Budgetary allocations by way of recurrent expenditure and development expenditure to the County and ensuring those resources are prudently utilized for the purposes budgeted for.
The County Executive Committee Members should equally for each assigned mirror National Government Ministry ensure that the local indigenous people are harnessed to provide goods and services and to implement and provide labour for development projects.
As the 47 counties embark on the next five years under new/ re-elected leadership, they first need to unveil their score cards for the milestones achieved since 2013 to 2016 and the performance indicators that the electorate will hold them accountable.
This should be done as per the County spatial plans under the County Governments Act, 2012 which stipulates that:
“There shall be a ten year county GIS based database system spatial plan for each county, which shall be a component part of the county integrated development plan providing
(a)a spatial depiction of the social and economic development programme of the county as articulated in the integrated county development plan;
(b)clear statements of how the spatial plan is linked to the regional, national and other county plans; and
(c)clear clarifications on the anticipated sustainable development outcomes of the spatial plan.
Further,as per section 4 of the Act, “Each county spatial plan shall be reviewed every five years and the revisions approved by the respective county assemblies.”
The sectoral plans contain broader programmes and projects that are to be implemented over a period of 10 years. The projects are then captured in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) after they are documented in the departmental sectoral plans.
Most Governors came up with ambitious manifestos coupled with several promises to be kept within a 100 days.
However, it will be interesting to see each county’s Annual Development Plan (ADP) which forms the basis for preparing the County budget annual budget.
The ADP is usually passed by the County Assembly by the 1st of September to guide the budget making process for the next financial year.
Time is the greatest determinant.
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