President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of ICT to put in place measures to create internet connectivity for all counties so that they can be connected to Ifmis system.
The President said the use of Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) will create efficiency and contribute to transparency, necessary for prudent use of public resources.
President Kenyatta called on the ministry to use all innovations to ensure that all counties access the system even as the government works on the plan to ensure all parts of the country are connected to the fibre optic network.
“This is not an issue that can wait and we want you to create the necessary connectivity. Be innovative,” said the Head of State during the the National and County Governments Co-ordinating Summit held at State House, Nairobi.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the ministry was working closely with the Council of Governors and was looking at all aspects of connectivity.
Mr Mucheru said the ministry plans to spread the fibre network to beyond county headquarters so that it reaches all parts of the country.
The CS added that the ministry also plans to connect all government buildings in the country to the fibre network to create efficiency in all sectors.
“We will also ensure 4,000 health centres in the country are linked to the fibre network,” said the President.
The cabinet secretary promised that his ministry will work closely with other agencies that have countrywide networks like Kenya Power and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco).
Further, the President advised the county governments to be practical when making budgets so that they do not put themselves in unnecessary financial difficulties.
‘Do not overestimate when drawing your budgets,” said the President as he urged the counties to pay off their debts.
On pending bills, the Head of State observed that overestimation of budgets by counties is one of the reasons they end up with large pending bills.
He noted that most of the accounting queries raised by the Auditor General are usually concerning payment of pending bills which are factually true but which become a problem in the treasury accounting system which does not recognise such payments.
As a way out of the perennial challenge of the growing volumes of pending bills, the meeting discussed and agreed on a timeframe of three months during which all bills would have been cleared.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the ministry will come up with a legal mechanism to allow the settling of pending bills in order to bring an end to the criminalisation of otherwise legal actions.
During the meeting, the President advised the counties against raising rates because it will make life more difficult for Kenyans.
President Kenyatta said that the national government is ready to support the counties to increase their revenues without raising rates.
The President gave the example of Nairobi where a mapping conducted by the national government has shown that there are more than 700,000 individual properties in the city against which only 120,000 are registered with the county government.
The new property figures means that Nairobi county can raise its revenue by many folds without increasing rates.