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Free Primary Education
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Const. Dev. Funds (CDF)
 

 

CONSTITUENCY DEVELOPMENT FUND (CDF)

The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) was established through the CDF Act in the Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 107 (Act No. 11) of 9th January 2004 which had been enacted by Parliament in 2003. CDF targets constituency- level development prolects, particularly those aiming to combat poverty at the grassroots. The objectives of the fund are:

• To activate development activities at the constituency in order to reduce poverty

• To promote equity in sharing of national resources, and therefore reduce imbalances in regional development

• To provide opportunities for local communities to get involved in development planning and project implementation through their groups and institutions

The fund comprises an annual budgetary allocation equivalent to 2.5/o of the government’s ordinary revenue. From the Financial Year 2005/2006 the allocation began to take into consideration poverty levels within constituencies. From then on 23% of CDF is allocated according to each constituency’s poverty levels (the poorest getting the most) while 75/o of the fund is allocated equally amongst all 210 constituencies.

The CDF legal framework

• The CDF Act (enacted by Parliament in
• The CDF (Amendment) Act, 2007
• CDF Regulations 2004 , 2003 and gazetted in 2004)
• Circulars from the Ministry of Planning and Vision 2030 (CDF parent Ministry)
• CDF implementation guidelines from the Board of Management of CDF
• CDF procurement Regulations
• The Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005
• Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations 2006
• Exchequer and Audit Act (governing auditing of all public expenditure)

CDF vote head maximum allocations and restrictions According to the Act governing CDF, a maximum 15% of each constituency’s annual allocation may be used for an education bursary scheme and can fund school fees, examination fees and even continuous assessment and mock examination fees. Expenses for running constituency CDF offices, which may include rent and utilities, staff salaries and Committee allowances, should not exceed 3% of annual constituency allocations, while running and maintenance of motor vehicles and equipment must not take more than 3%.

Each constituency is required to keep aside 5% as an emergency reserve, which may be allocated to other projects at the end of the Financial Year. 2% of each constituency’s annual allocation may be used for sporting activities, but must not include cash awards; while up to 2% of the annual allocation may be used on environmental protection and up to 2/o of annual allocation may be used on capacity building.

Each constituency may fund a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 25 projects from CDF in each financial year, while uncompleted projects from a previous year are allowed to remain on the project list on condition they are lumped together as one project in the project list. One project must not take more than 50% of a constituency’s total annual allocation. The CDF is not to be used to support political organizations and activities or give personal awards apart from the amount allocated to bursary.

A sitting MP is not a signatory to the CDF bank account but convenes the CDF Committee in her/his constituency. CDF Committees may buy land, buildings, motor vehicles, and machinery provided the acquisition is for public use only. All movable assets acquired by the CDF Comunittees are property of the Board of Management of CDF and ate therefore insured in the Board’s name. Where such assets are disposed off, proceeds of the sale must go to the constituency’s account. However, assets bought for institutions like a schools or hospitals becomes property of the particular institution.

Members of the CDF Committee and the District Projects Committee may earn allowances while undertaking CDF business. Such allowances are fixed by the Constituency Fund Committee and are paid out of the 3% set aside for the running of the Board of Management of CDF.Funds are normally disbursed in four equal instalments subject to submission of updated accounts by each CDF Committee. Every payment from CDFC account must be on the basis of a minuted resolution. Any unused funds must remain in the CDFC account, to be re-allocated the following year. The CDF Act allows CDF Committees from different (neighbouring) constituencies to pool resources for joint projects.
Operational Structures of CDF

The overall management of the CDF falls under the Board of Management of Constituencies’ Development Fund. Before the 2007 amendments to the CDF Act, this responsibility was undertaken by the National Management Committee (NMC). Other structures involved in the management of CDF are as follows:

(i) Locational Development Committee Meetings

This is the level at which identification of community needs is done and proposals of projects to be funded are made. These meetings are supposed to be as inclusive as possible in order to give a fair representation of the community a chance to contribute on development needs and projects. It is the responsibility of the CDFC to conduct meetings at this level.

(ii). Constituency Development Fund Committee (CDFC)

This is the Committee that manages CDF within the constituency. It is constituted by an MP within 60 days after General Elections or a by-election. Before a new CDFC is constituted, the previous CDFC is supposed to continue to act with limited powers; for example it cannot make any decisions onnew projects After a by-election or, after General Elections, the newly elected MP may either reconstitute an entirely new CDFC or retain the one in place. Changes in CDFC membership are not supposed ‘to interfere with ongoing projects.
 

The term of office for a CDFC is 3 years, and any member can be reappointed for a maximum of two consecutive terms. The maximum total membership of a
CDFC is 16 people, distributed as follows:

• I local District Officer (1)0)
• 2 Councillors
• 2 representatives of religious organizations
• I representative of local NGOs
• I representative of the youth
• 2 female representatives of women
• 2 male representatives of men
• 3 co-opted members representing special interests, and
• The constituency MP who is the Patron of the Committee
• The Constituency Development Fund Manager

The CDFC is convened by the MP and elects a chairman, secretary and treasurer at its first sitting. ‘Ihe law allows MPs to chair or be patrons of the CDFC. this committee receives proposals from the Locational meetings, discusses them, selects and prioritizes projects. Every CDFC is supposed to meet at least 12 times in a year, but not more than 24 times. Meetings of sub-committees of the CDFC count as part of these minimum and maximum limits set by the Act. CDFC members draw allowances for the official CDFC business they engage in. These allowances are fixed by the Board of Management of CDF.

The CDFC is supposed to open and maintain a Constituency Development Account (CDA) in a commercial bank. ‘l’he CDA has 3 signatories. MPs and councillors are not allowed by law to be signatories. Any transaction on a CDA must be on the basis of a minuted resolution. The CDF Committee is allowed to use some money for running the CDF office. The limits allowed are as follows:

a) Monthly rent expenses up to Ksh. 15,000/
b) Monthly sitting and travel allowances up to Ksh. 15,000/=
c) Stationery up to Ksh. 15,000/

The office of the Auditor General audits CDF and reports to Parliament through the Public Accounts Committee as is the case for all other public funds

(iv) CDF Managers

These are public servants employed by the CDF Board and seconded to constituencies to manage CDF offices. They are Ex-officio members of CDFCs; they attend meetings of the Committee but are not allowed to vote. Fund Managers are responsible for maintenance of records. They also ensure the safety of CDF equipment and other properties during the term of an MP and transition; and monitor implementation of projects.
 

District Project Committee

District Projects Committees (DPC)

Every district must have a District Projects Committee constituted within 60 days after a general election while a previous DPC is dissolved with the dissolution of Parliament. The chair of the DPC must be an elected MP or Councillor, who must also be a member of the same DPC. The term of office of a DPC chair is 3 years. The DPC is supposed to meet at least once in 3 months up to a maximum of 6 times in one year.The DPC coordinates implementation of CDF projects in the district. It is supposed to prepare accurate information and data on other government expenditure allocations for various projects in the district and circulate this to all CDFCs in that district to avoid double funding. MPs are supposed to table lists of CDF projects to the DPC for it to ensure that there is no duplication of projects.

Where a project contract value exceeds Ksh. 10 million, the DPC has to be in charge of the procurement process. It also supervises implementation of projects that go beyond one constituency. Membership of a DPC is as follows:

• The MPs in that particular district
• All Mayors and Chairpersons of Local Authorities in that district
• The District Commissioner
• The District Development Officer (who acts as Secretary to the Committee)
• The Chairpersons of the Constituencies Development Fund Committees in the district
• The District Accountant

District departmental heads may attend DPC meetings as exofficio members when the business being discussed is relevant to their departments.

(v) Constituency Fund Committee (CFC) - this is a select Committee of Parliament composed of backbenchers that oversees the implementation of the CDF Act. Members may serve for a 3 year renewable term. It has the overall responsibility of considering all project proposals

• submitted from various constituencies. The CFC oversees implementation of the policy and legislative framework of the fund, and is supposed to continually review the framework to ensure efficient delivery of development programs financed by CDF. It makes recommendations on these issues to the minister responsible.

The CFC holds the overall responsibility of determining allocation and distribution of CDF as well as determining how any unspent funds are utilized. It is also responsible for considering recommendations of appointments to CDF structures that need Parliamentary approval and reporting to Parliament on the same. This Committee makes reports on CDF to Parliament every two years.

(vi) The Project (implementation) Committee

For every approved CDF project, there must be a project implementation committee made up of local stakeholders. It may be an already existing committee Oike school building committees), or may be elected or appointed for the purpose of a specific CDF project. This committee is supposed to ensure that the project is implemented in accordance with the approved project implementation plan and budget and report regularly to the CDF Committee. The Project Committee is supposed to consult with the relevant government departments during implementation of a project to ensure accuracy in plans and budgets. It must maintain accurate detailed records of any CDF project under its watch.

(vii) Board of Management of the Constituencies Development Fund

The Board of management of CDF is responsible for the overall management of the Fund. All CDF property is held in the name of the Board as the legal body responsible for CDF. It receives, compiles and approves the list of proposed projects from all constituencies and is supposed to ensure timely and efficient disbursement of funds to every constituency. It also receives and considers annual reports and returns from the constituencies. It ensures compilation and submission of proper records, returns and reports from the constituencies and arbitrates disputes over the management of CDF in the constituencies.

The Board has authority to approve re-allocation of funds from one project to another in the course of the year and to determine how unspent funds are utilized. It allocates serial numbers to approved projects for each constituency in accordance with the Electoral Commission of Kenya Constituencies’ serial numbers. It recruits its CEO and the constituency CDF Managers, and determines the sitting allowances of the District Project Committee and the Constituency Development Fund Committee. The Board holds a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 18 meetings in a year, including special meetings of up to 5 members.

The Board is composed of 17 persons, one third of whom must be members of either gender. The CDF Amendment Act (2007) provides a schedule of agencies that may nominate people to serve on this Board (Appendix 1). Government officials that serve on it are the Attorney General, the Clerk of the National Assembly, and the Permanent Secretaries for the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Finance. The Minister of Planning appoints the Chair of the Board from amongst the members who are not government officials.

The processes of CDF Projects

Apart from what qualifies as an emergency under the CDF Act, all CDF projects must go through a systematic process as prescribed by the Act. The following sequence forms a CDF project cycle:

1) Locational meetings are convened for the community to identify development concerns and needs, and propose relevant projects that may address these needs and concerns

2) The CDF Committee receives proposals from the locations and meets to prionttze projects

3) The CDF Committee tables its list of proposed projects before the District Projects Committee, which in turn scrutinizes and harmonizes the projects to ensure there is no duplication

4) The Board of Management of CDF receives approved projects through respective MPs or the CDFC, scrutinizes and approves those to be funded. ‘Where there is any disagreement, the Board refers to the Parliamentary Constituencies’ Fund Committee to make the final decision

5) The Board disburses funds to CDF Committee bank accounts according to approved projects

6) The CDF Committee meets and prepares payments according to the schedule of approved projects and forwards these payments to the respective Project Committees for implementation

7) Continuous monitoring of the management of the Fund and projects has to be done by the CDC, the Management Board, the CDF Committee, the DPC, the Project Committees and citizens in general

CDF funds only projects of public interest and benefit, not private. In the case of bursaries, although it is individuals that benefit, it is in the interest of the community that poor children amongst it access education. Joint projects (where part of the financing is from another source) are allowed by the Act, provided CDF contribution funds a complete unit or phase of the project in order to avoid cases of stalled projects on which CDF monies have been spent. CDF also allows projects involving more than one constituency. In such cases, the constituencies collaborating on the project contribute to it from their fund and the project is supervised by the District Projects Committee.

It is a requirement of the CDF Act that ALL project proposals have cost (budget) estimates. It is the duty of the Project Committees and the CDF Committees to consult with relevant government departments to verify costs of goods and services to avoid overestimates and underestimates.

7. The requirement for schools to have enrolment of at least forty students has led to submission of non-existent (ghost) student lists to the Ministry headquarters by some schools. Accordmg to the Ministry guidelines, schools with low enrolment would have to be merged so that they can benefit from the kitty. However, schools in arid and semi-arid areas were spared this requirement

8. Due to the high demand for places in well performing schools, parallel classes have been established for the fee paying students. Out of desperation parents accept the same offer

9. No specific budget allocation has been made for disabled children with special needs. Considering that under the Children’s Act (2001), it is a human right that every child must enjoy and has to be protected by law

10. A number of schools have not engaged bursars leaving the head teacher as the accounting officer. This has opened the fund to mismanagement and corruption by the head teachers.

11. There are no transparent procurement guidelines for schools. Often teachers end up as suppliers fuelling conflict of interest in the management of funds.

12. There has been delay in the remittance the funds to the schools due to a number of factors such as:

• Low enrolment that is below 40 students per class in some area has posed a challenge
• Inconsistencies in enrolment records presented to the Ministry of education
• Ineligible bank accounts details presented by schools (in some cases banks have disowned the supposed school bank account)

Disbursement of funds

The Ministry’s guidelines state that the total annual budget will be split into three fractions:
1. The first tranche of Kshs. 5,000 pet student released in December
2. In April the second tranche released to cover term two Kshs. 3,000
3. In August the third tranche released to cover term three Kshs. 2,265

                                 

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