Non-budget agencies (NBAs) such as health centres and lower administrative organs including Sectors and Cells have been singled out as the source of most financial woes.
A Senatorial committee hearing that was seating to analyse the last Auditor General’s (AG) report , was of the view that districts had been unable to carry out due diligence on the NBAs.
This lack of efficiency on the district level has been a major loophole that allowed NBAs to embark on wasteful spending, and in some cases, poor delivery of services that impact on the well-being of the population under their care.
In the event that the social protection programmes such as Girinka or the health centres are not delivering accordingly, it may take some time before the districts get wind of it. But in the end, district officials will take the blame because they are accountable for the actions of those under their jurisdiction.
With many government services now decentralised to the lowest administrative levels, oversight should be taken to another level. NBAs should be made accountable in order to ease the burden of districts in the spirit of the decentralisation policy.
But before the idea of making NBAs accountable to the AG takes shape, districts would be well advised to partner with civil society organizations. Most of them work with Sectors and Cells and their relevance depends on result on the ground.
If they could be brought on board, they could act as early warning systems for districts do deal with errant NBAs promptly.