Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG
Contractors and suppliers in Laikipia county will be paid in a record 14 days after they invoice in efforts by Governor Ndiritu Muriithi to reduce bring down pending bills and end frustration among business people.
In an interview, the governor said that his administration is currently paying verified pending within 42 days and the number will go down to 14 in this financial year.
According to the governor, the county made 179 payments amounting Sh327 million in the last financial year 2017-2018.
“We were able to pay within 42 days cycle because of our commitment to do things differently,” he said
He noted that the 14-day cycle will be achieved through the strict adherence to the budget, procurement plans and setting realistic revenue collection targets.
The procurement process will also be streamlined to ensure that end-to-end procurement cycle, through the Integrated Financial Management System, is achieved.
“All purchase orders shall be issued and recorded by the relevant accounting officers and not the procurement officer. The chief officer shall maintain a record of all issued purchase orders and a complete procurement file for the same,” he said.
Disciplinary action will be taken against a chief officer who delays payment to the contractors.
“A reason for pending bills were overstated expectations of own source revenue, and some confusion as to the treatment of revenues generated from health facilities,” he noted.
The county bosses said that in some instances contractors and suppliers were to blame for late payment.
Some contractors, he said, have been raising their claims before the completion certificate has been issued while others were doing a shoddy job forcing the completion and acceptance team to order a repeat of the work.
The county treasury has already communicated the guidelines to the accounting officers and contractors
An audit review of the pending bills inherited from the previous regime showed that nearly half of the bills had problems with documentation.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption is investigating the pending bills maid claims that some contractors had not implemented any project but had invoiced the county for payment.
Mr Muriithi blamed his predecessor for the high pending bills, accusing former county officials of implementing projected that had not been factored in the budget which made it difficult to pay the contractors.
“He previous administration initiated projects that were not in the budget, and not covered in subsequent supplementary budgets,” he said.