The role and functions of the county executive committee in Kenya are largely managerial and administrative at the county level. The county executive committee is in charge of managing, coordinating and implementing county government plans and policies.
Article 179 of the Constitution provides for the County Executive Committee in Kenya. The Constitution bestows the executive authority of the county to the county executive committee. The committee also exercises this authority.
Membership of the County Executive Committee
Who are the members of the county executive committee in Kenya? The County Executive Committee in Kenya consists of the County Governor, the Deputy County Governor and the County Executive Committee Members appointed by the County Governor.
The County Executive Committee members are persons the county governor appoints, with the approval of the assembly, from among persons who are not members of the assembly. This excludes the governor and the deputy governor who are elected members.
The number of members the governor appoints above, with the county assembly approval, should not exceed-
- one-third of the number of members of the county assembly, if the assembly has less than thirty members; or
- ten if the assembly has thirty or more members.
The members of the County Executive Committee are individually and collectively accountable to the governor in the exercise of their powers and performance of their duties and responsibilities.
However, a committee of the county assembly may require a member of the executive committee to—
- attend or appear before the committee; and
- answer any question relating to the member’s responsibilities.
These appointed members are basically like “county cabinet secretaries”. They head the various departments (‘ministries’) of the county government such as finance, health, agriculture, among others.
If a vacancy arises in the office of the county governor, the members of the county executive committee cease to hold office. See the process to impeach a county governor in Kenya.
Role and Functions of the County Executive Committee in Kenya
The County Executive Committee implements and coordinates the development projects of the County. The committee also implements the laws the County Assembly passes and ensures compliance from the various county departments.
Article 183 of the Kenyan Constitution stipulates the role and functions of the County Executive Committee in Kenya. A County Executive Committee should-
- implement county legislation;
- implement, within the county, national legislation to the extent that the legislation so requires;
- manage and coordinate the functions of the county administration and its departments; and
- perform any other functions conferred on it by this Constitution or national legislation.
A County Executive Committee can prepare proposed laws for consideration by the county assembly. One such law is the Ward Development Fund.
The County Executive Committee should provide the county assembly with full and regular reports on matters relating to the county. These reports include quarterly budget implementation reports.
In addition to the functions provided under Article 183 of the Constitution, a County Executive Committee should—
- supervise the administration and delivery of services in the county and all decentralized units and agencies in the county;
- perform any other functions conferred on it by the Constitution or national legislation;
- carry out any function incidental to any of the assigned functions.
These additional functions of the county executive committee in Kenya are under Section 36 of the County Governments Act.
While performing its functions, a county executive committee should have the power to determine its own programme of activities and every member of the committee shall observe integrity and disclosure of interest in any matter before the committee.
Other roles of the county executive committee
Role of the executive committee in urban area or city planning
A County Executive Committee has a role to play in urban area or city planning. It should—
- monitor the process of planning, formulation and adoption of the integrated development plan by a city or municipality within the county;
- assist a city or municipality with the planning, formulation, adoption and review of its integrated development plan;
- facilitate the coordination and alignment of integrated development plans of different cities or municipalities within the county and with the plans, strategies and programmes of national and county governments;
- take appropriate steps to resolve any disputes or differences in connection with the planning, formulation, adoption or review of an integrated development plan.
This role is under Section 37 of the County Governments Act.
County executive committee to determine the organisation of the county
The function of the County Executive Committee in Kenya with regard to this role is essential. The county executive committee should determine the organization of the county and its various departments, and for that purpose may—
- establish, continue or vary any department, and determine the objects and purposes of the department;
- determine the number and nature of departments at the decentralized units;
- abolish any department;
- determine or change the name of any department.
When establishing and organizing the county, the county executive committee should consider, and be guided by, the need to—
- be responsive to the needs of the local community and the functions and competencies assigned to and transferred to the county;
- facilitate a culture of public service and accountability in the county public service;
- be performance-oriented and focused on the objectives of devolved government set out in Article 174 of the Constitution;
- ensure that the county departments align their roles and responsibilities with the priorities and objectives set out in the county’s policies and plans;
- organise its departments and other structures in a flexible way in order to respond to changing priorities and circumstances;
- assign clear responsibilities for the management and coordination of departments and functions;
- allow participatory decision making as far as is practicable;
- provide an equitable, fair, open and non-discriminatory working environment.
This role is under Section 46 of the County Governments Act.
Performance management plan
The County Executive Committee should design a performance management plan to evaluate the performance of the county public service and the implementation of county policies.
The plan should provide for among others—
- objective, measurable and time-bound performance indicators;
- linkage to mandates;
- annual performance reports;
- citizen participation in the evaluation of the performance of county government;
- public sharing of performance progress reports.
The governor should submit the annual performance reports of the County Executive Committee and public service to the county assembly for consideration.
The performance management plan and reports should be public documents.
This role and function of the County Executive Committee in Kenya is under Section 47 of the County Governments Act.
For the procedure to appoint and dismiss of the County Executive Committee members, see the post the qualifications for a county executive committee member in Kenya.
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