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The Purpose of the County Revenue Fund in Kenya

The County Revenue Fund in Kenya (or revenue fund for county governments in Kenya) exists under Article 207 of the Kenyan Constitution. This article is under Chapter 12 of the Constitution on Public Finance. Section 109 of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act expounds further on the Fund.

Article 207 says that the County Revenue Fund shall be established to receive all money raised or received on behalf of the County Government. However, this excludes any money that an Act of Parliament may exclude from being paid reasonably to the Fund.

The revenue fund for county governments resides at the Central Bank of Kenya. It may also be referred to as the County Exchequer Account. Each county government has a County Revenue Fund at the Central Bank of Kenya.

The County Treasury is in charge of the Fund. It shall ensure that all money raised or received by or on behalf of the county government is paid into the Fund, except money that–

  • is excluded front payment into that Fund because of a provision of the Public Finance Management Act or another Act of Parliament, and is payable into another county public fund established for a specific purpose;
  • may, according to other legislation, the PFM Act or County legislation, be retained by the county government entity which received it for the purposes of defraying its expenses; or
  • is reasonably excluded by an Act of Parliament as provided in Article 207 of the Constitution.
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Counties to deposit local revenue to County Revenue Fund

All the sources of county government revenue in Kenya shall be deposited in the County Revenue Fund. Funds excluded from the Fund include the appropriation in aid (AIA). AIA is received by county departments when they offer services and they can retain that money to cover their expenses.

What this means is that county governments shall not spend their own source (local) revenue at the source. They shall first deposit it in the County Revenue Fund, then seek the approval of the Controller of Budget to withdraw the funds. The National Treasury shall also deposit the county equitable share of revenue raised nationally in the Fund.

Once the Controller of Budget approves withdrawals from the Fund, the money goes into County Operational Accounts.

The County Treasury shall–

  • arrange for the County Revenue Fund to be kept in the Central Bank of Kenya or a bank approved by the County Executive Committee member responsible for finance and shall be kept in an account to be known as the “County Exchequer Account; and
  • ensure that all money authorised to be paid by the county government or any of its entities for a public purpose is paid from that account without undue delay.

Any unutilised balances in the Fund shall not lapse at the end of the financial year. It shall remain for the purposes for which the fund exists.

The Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Controller of Budget shall receive financial statements from the County Treasury.

For more about this Fund, see Section 109 of the Public Finance Management Act. The main takeaway point is that the County Revenue Fund in Kenya houses all the revenue received by a county government.