In Summary
  • The two Houses had been on a month-long Christmas recess and resume duty to a packed in-tray.
  • The statistics bill, which is awaiting publication, has significant implications on the national census to be held in August.
  • There is also the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) that Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich is to present to MPs February 15
  • The MPs expect to conclude matters on the Budget Policy Statement to ensure the Division of Revenue bill and the County Revenue Allocation bill are passed in time.

Statistics bill 2019 is among the bills that will be given the highest priority as the National Assembly and Senate resume sittings on Tuesday for their third session after the 2017 general election.

The two Houses had been on a month-long Christmas recess and resume duty to a packed in-tray.

The statistics bill, which is awaiting publication, has significant implications on the national census to be held in August.

It is an amendment to the Statistics Act of 2006 that establishes the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) for the collection, compilation, analysis, publication and dissemination of statistical information, and the coordination of the national statistics system.

BUDGET

There is also the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) that Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich is to present to MPs February 15, according to the Public Finance Management Act.

The BPS outlines the country’s expenditure priorities and revenue collection measures as well as deficits.

Parliament has also prioritised the passing of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Amendment bill to provide the mechanism for hiring new commissioners whenever vacancies arises.

This is informed by the resignation of four members of the seven- member commission in October 2017 and in April 2018.

As currently constituted, the IEBC Act has no such mechanism hence the need to recruit commissioners ahead of the census and delimit electoral boundaries ahead of the 2022 general elections.

LAND LAWS

The Land Value Index Laws (Amendment) 2018 bill is also crucial to the government’s infrastructure development plan.

It aims to address the matter of land compensation by providing for negotiated valuation that will bring down the cost thereby helping the government to roll out projects faster. 

The other bills the House wants to prioritise include Energy Bill of 2017, Petroleum Bill 2017, Kenya Roads Bill (NA Bill No. 47 of 2017) and the Government Contracts Bill of 2018.

BUDGET CYCLE

The MPs expect to conclude matters on the BPS to ensure the Division of Revenue bill and the County Revenue Allocation bill are passed in time.

However, they are grappling with whether the budget cycle will be affected as in September 2018, the High Court in Nairobi declared the provisional collection of taxes unconstitutional before the passage of the Finance bill. This followed a petition by activist Okiya Omtatah.

High Court Judge Winfrida Okwany said the National Assembly must pass the Finance bill before appropriating national resources.

The implication of the ruling is an amendment to the Public Finance Management Act, which says the Finance bill must be passed 90 days with the passing of the Appropriations bill.

SLOW PROGRESS

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