The Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly has called on the executive to freeze any new employment as part of measures to check the ballooning Wage Bill.
The Budget committee said the county should only replace employees who have left the service due to natural attrition and retirement, adding that the human resource needs should be dealt with within the budget ceilings.
The Budget Chair, John Yator also instructed the various sectoral committees to ensure that they have in their possession lists of actual employees who are permanent and pensionable, contractual and casual together with their corresponding details from their respective departments before approval of the 2019/2020 budget.
This came even as the assembly rejected reductions proposed by the executive to cut down on development expenditure and allocation to the Assembly in the 2019/2020 Budget to fund recurrent expenditure.
According to the executive, the county had been forced to raid the development expenditure and the assembly allocations due to a surge in the wage bill as a result of salary increments and implementation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in the health sector.
The executive in the fiscal strategy paper had proposed to reduce ward allocations by Sh.170 million while the assembly budget was to be reduced by Sh.120 million.
However, the assembly resolved that its ceilings would remain the same as set by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).
“Mr. Speaker, reduction of Sh.120 million from the assembly’s ceilings is tantamount to disabling the oversight role of the house,” said the leader of majority, Nathan Chelang’a.
The Budget committee also called on sectoral committees overseeing departments with conditional/donor grants to conduct a thorough oversight on the use of the funds and submit their quarterly implementation reports to the house.
Salina Kimito (nominated) said there was an issue with Sh.117 million donor funds for the department of agriculture which she said will be rolled over to the next financial year as the current one comes to a close in June.
She added that despite the county allocating Sh.60 million for the purchase of drugs, health facilities continue to face drug shortage.
By Alice Wanjiru