The Treasury has rejected Parliament’s attempt to automatically raise its recurrent budget and that of the Judiciary by 7.5 percent every year.
Henry Rotich, the Treasury secretary, said such a process would fall foul of the law that requires allocation of resources to all arms of government to be done alongside competing needs in the entire public sector under a tight fiscal framework.
“Allocation of funds should therefore be based on needs of individual ministry, department and agencies (MDA) of government. This includes requirements for Judiciary, Parliament and county governments,” Mr Rotich told the National Assembly’s Committee on Implementation.
The committee had invited Mr Rotich to submit a status report on how far the ministry had gone with the implementation of the House resolution that Parliament’s and the Judiciary’s recurrent budgets attract a 7.5 per cent annual increase.
The Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) had recommended that the Judiciary’s and Parliament’s budget be determined on allocative efficiency and not ceilings.
The House also approved BAC’s recommendation that development budget allocations to the two arms of government be determined on a need basis.
“In this regard, allocation to all arms of government is based on available resources, prioritisation and the competing needs in the entire public sector under tight fiscal framework,” Mr Rotich told the MPs, adding that it was not clear what law Parliament used to introduce the proposed 7.5 per cent annual increment.
“There is need for Parliament to review the recommendation in light of the weakness pointed out.”
In the financial year 2018/19, the Treasury allocated the Judiciary Sh17.3 billion but Parliament slashed it to Sh14.5 billion while keeping its own budget at Sh35.6 billion.
The Treasury’s decision to reject annual increment of the Judiciary’s and Parliament’s recurrent budget comes in the wake of a quest by MPs to increase their perks through a new Bill. The MPs shelved the passage of the Parliamentary Service Bill 2018 that seeks to entrench their hefty perks in law a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to reject it.
The proposed law, which is awaiting consideration at the committee stage, was not listed in the Order Paper on December 6, 2018 as part of the business to be transacted before MPs took a two-month Christmas recess. Mr Kenyatta has vowed to reject the Bill through which MPs are seeking to enhance their perks, including house allowances, car loans and insurance cover.