IFMIS not to blame for corruption in counties, CRA chair Micah Cheserem says

The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has supported the use of Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) saying it was not to blame for the rampant theft of funds in counties.

CRA Chairman Micah Cheserem and the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Authority CEO Robert Mugo said those stealing money from counties should not use IFMIS as an excuse but take responsibility for their actions.

Speaking in Mombasa on Tuesday, Mr Cheserem said a system is run by “individuals with names”.

“Thieves will remain thieves and should be known by that name. They are all corrupt individuals and therefore, thieves who should be held responsible for their actions,” he said dutring the annual County Revenue Automation conference at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa.

The conference brought together officers from CRA, the ICT Authority of Kenya and implementers of financial management and policies from the 47 counties.

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo and his Uasin Gishu counterpart Jackson Mandago advocated for autonomous ICT systems for counties, saying this would enable them monitor their own finances.

They said the automation of finances in counties would eliminate corruption and infuse efficiency in revenue collection.

“There is no need to conduct research for new systems of automation. There is no need to re-invent the wheel when there exists one already. We only need to enhance it,” said Mr Mandago.

Mr Kabogo said automation of revenue collection had increased his county’s revenue from Sh800 million in 2014 to Sh2.47 billion last year, and their 2017 target is Sh5 billion.

“No county will prosper without automating its revenue collection. In the past, 70 per cent of Kiambu County revenue went to private pockets but we have eliminated this,” he said.

Mr Cheserem said more judges should be recruited, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the police strengthened to deal with corruption, which he added must end for the country to progress.

He advocated for the disbursement of more resources to counties and harmonisation of devolution, which he said was too expensive to run.

Responding to concerns from governors that many fake ICT providers flock counties to get contracts, Mr Mugo said all practitioners would be required to register from next week.

“We are working to introduce ICT standards that will be launched so that vendors register and provide basis for quality management and value for money. Those which fail to comply will be blacklisted,” he said.

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