SRC Defends MCAs Car Grants
The decision to provide Members of County Assembly (MCAs) with Sh2 million car grants was made in 2017 but its implementation was delayed due to lack of funds.
This is according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), which says their eligibility for the grant has never been the question.
SRC Chairperson Lyn Mengich said Monday that counties’ lack of funds is what prevented implementation of the decision.
Ms Mengich said the Council of Governors (CoG) wrote to the commission this year explaining that counties had finally budgeted for the facility, the reason the commission finally approved the payments.
“Because they (counties) gave the assurance of the availability of funds, the commission was able to advise that they go ahead,” she said.
Ms Mengich said the commission did not have to consider the issue of eligibility since it was resolved years ago.
She said the only concern the commission had was whether counties had the money.
“In 2017, the issue was discussed for both the National and County assemblies. At that point, the commission only approved the National Assembly payment because there was a budget allocated for that. County assemblies were not allocated the same because there was no budget,” she explained.
“This issue had been discussed … The answer even back then in 2017 was ‘yes’. However, affordability and sustainability is always a key concern. County assemblies had not allocated any money for that facility.”
The commission chair further noted that just like other State and public officers, MCAs are entitled to transport facilitation by their employer, to make their work easier.
“Since 2017, Parliament is facilitated in that way. They don’t get a car with a driver like other State officers. They are facilitated in a different way,” Ms Mengich said.
“In their representative role, they are required to visit their constituents periodically and because it is a requirement of their job, they are facilitated to discharge that responsibility.”
The commission approved the controversial decision last month, after weeks of a back and forth.
Ms Mengich also described the matter of car grants as being more about equity among State and public officers, not one to do with politics.
But the decision for the county lawmakers to get the grants was inked while they were being convinced to support the BBI constitutional amendment Bill, a factor that elicited rage among members of the public.
Forty three out of the 47 counties passed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, a key step in the process of changing the Constitution.