Public Financial Management Practices and Performance of Counties in Kenya: Case of Garissa County Ahmad Adan Guliye
Ahmad, Adan Guliye
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Public financial management in devolved system is concerned with the formulation, management and implementation of public policy and service delivery. Concerns about the way Kenya county governments' public funds are being managed is rising. The Controller of Budget, the Auditor General's Office, as well as reports from Select Committees of the National Assembly indicate that over 50% _of the counties have misappropriated public funds. Some of the cases include; failure to comply with public expenditure ceilings, overpayments of members of County Assemblies (MCAs) on sitting allowances, wastage of funds on foreign travels, employment of staff for every MCA contrary to the law and other numerous cases, all costing every county more than 30% of its budget. For instance, the first nine months of existence of the County Governments, the members of the County Assemblies spent a total sum of Kshs.6. 7 billion in sitting allowances. The main objective of the study was to assess public financial management on performance of counties in Kenya: case' of Garissa County. A descriptive design method was used for the study. The target population of the study was employees of county government of Garissa working in the financial and procurement departments of the county headquarters. Garissa County has 45 employees in the fmance and procurement department who are directly involved in the fmancial management according to the county Public Service Board. This study employed census technique where all the 45 employees in the fmance and procurement departments were requested to provide information in regards to public fmancial management. Primary data was collected using a questionnaire covering public financial management and performance. This study produced both quantitative and qualitative data. Questionnaires were coded and edited for completeness and consistency. Quantitative data was analyzed by employing descriptive statistics and inferential analysis techniques using statistical package for social science (SPSS). The study found out that Staff training affected public financial management in the county. In addition, financial controls systems affected public financial management in the county. The study also found out that sixty four percent of the respondents felt that monitoring and evaluation affects the public financial management in the county while others were of the opinion that monitoring and evaluation does not affect public financial management in the county. From the study findings, majority of the respondents indicated that Top management support affects the public financial management in the county to a very great extent. The study concludes that majority of the respondents agreed that Staff training affects the public financial management in the county through the quality products and meeting of the recommended standards while some of the respondents were for the opinion that staff training doesn't affect public financial management in the county. Policy and public financial management should be carefully evaluated and the results of that evaluation fed back into improved approaches. Public financial management initiatives appear to be instrumental for improving supply chain performance, by harmonizing purchases, launching co-ordination initiatives, setting standards and building skills. As such, the management of the Garissa County should adopt public financial management initiatives.