Budget Brief No. 30 – Devolution in Kenya: Is the National Government Still Holding Funds That Should be Devolved?

Publication Type: Budget Briefs

Key Points

  • Many believe that the national government retains functions and funds that should have been devolved to county governments. However, there has been little serious analysis of this issue to determine whether or not it is true, or how much money is involved.
  • Drawing on publically available budget information, we have identified six factors that should be considered when determining which funds and functions can readily be devolved. These factors take into account present funding arrangements at the county, regional, national, and international level.
  • Taking these factors into account, we find that no more than Ksh 65 billion is available for devolution; only part of this could eventually be devolved and we believe the minimum amount that should be devolved is roughly Ksh 28 billion.
  • Almost 75 percent of these funds are controlled by state corporations. This means that the agenda of reforming state financing to align with devolution is largely an agenda of state corporation reform.
  • Parliament should lead a debate on how to reform state agencies to ensure adequate funding for key services and alignment with devolution and the constitution.

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Budget Brief No. 30 – Devolution in Kenya: Is the National Government Still Holding Funds That Should be Devolved?