Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.
Image: FILE

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has given the government’s commitment to pay all pending bills by January 15.

The CS has also reiterated that county governments will only receive their allocations next year after clearing their debts.

The National Government has pending bills amounting to Sh58.2 billion out of which Sh43.2 billion comprise of historical/contested bills which are undergoing audit and investigation.

“The eligible bills amount to Sh15.0 billion out of which Sh10.8 billion have been paid in the last three months. The National Government is committed to payment of the balance of Sh 4.2 billion by January 15, 2020,” the CS said.

The historical/contested bills of Sh43.2 billion have been referred to the Multi-Agency Team, ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the last Cabinet meeting, for final determination.

According to the CS, Treasury has observed that National Government MDAs and County Governments had in the past persistently failed to pay for goods and services provided by the private sector

“Some of outstanding bills have remained unpaid for long periods (in some cases for over five years,” Yatani said in a statement giving the status of pending bills.

He added; “This has had negative impact on the economy, including less than optimal levels of employment and escalation of poverty levels.”

On Counties, the CS said that the devolved units still owe Sh22.71 in pending bills which are not contested.

A Special audit on counties by the Auditor General as at June 30, 2018 indicated that out of a total Sh88.98 billion pending bills presented, bills amounting to Sh51.2 billion were reported as payable.

Bills amounting to Sh37.7 billion lacked sufficient documentations to support services rendered or work done and therefore were not recommended for payment.

“The amount of eligible pending bills paid as at 18th December 2019 is Sh28.57 billion leaving an outstanding balance of Sh22.71 billion,” Yatani said.

By December 23, Treasury had cumulatively released Sh112.04 billion as equitable share and Sh4.08 billion as conditional grants to counties for the current financial year.

“Release of December and future allocation will be subject to the Counties submitting returns on payment of pending bills, as per plans they submitted to National Treasury and Controller of Budget,” Yatani said.