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National Government

Parliament State Department of Devolution

The National Treasury

Sectoral Ministries, Departments and Agencies

County Commissioners

Parliamentary Budget Office


The Parliament

The Parliament consists of two houses: The National Assembly and The Senate as established under the Constitution of Kenya (COK) Article 93.

The National Assembly

The National Assembly together with the Senate constitute the Parliament as per the Constitution of Kenya (COK) 2010 Article 93. It has a total of 349 seats; comprising of 290 elected Members of Parliament representing the constituencies; and special interest representative including 47 women elected from the counties and 12 nominated representatives. The Speaker of the National Assembly leads the Assembly and is elected by the Members, but not from among them, and serves as an ex officio member.

The National Assembly exercises representative, legislative and oversight authority vested in it by Kenyan citizens as per the Constitution of Kenya (2010). It is responsible to protect the Constitution; and may consider and pass constitutional amendments and alter county boundaries. It is responsible to deliberate on, resolve and enact legislation on issues of national concern.

The National Assembly enacts legislation for the allocation of national revenue between the levels of government. It is responsible for the appropriation of funds for expenditure by national government and national state organs and exercises oversights over national revenue and its expenditure.

Learn more about the National Assembly: http://www.parliament.go.ke

The Senate

The Senate and together with the National Assembly constitutes Parliament as per the Constitution of Kenya (2010) Article 93. It comprises 47 members who are elected from the 47 counties; 16 nominated women members, two youth and two persons with disabilities. The Speaker of the Senate, leads the House and is elected by the Senators, but not from among them, and serves as an ex officio member

The Senate serves to protect the interests of the counties and their governments. It participates in the legislative function of Parliament by considering, debating and approving bills concerning counties (Articles 109 to 113). Every five years, the Senate determines the basis for the allocation of national revenue among counties (Article 217), taking into consideration recommendations by the Commission on Revenue Allocation and in consultation with the County Governors, the Cabinet Secretary responsible for finance and inviting views from the public.

The Senate also exercises oversight over national revenue allocated to the county governments. It also participates in the oversight of State officers by considering and determining any resolution to remove the President or Deputy President from office and in the removal of a County Governor.

Learn more about The Senate: http://www.parliament.go.ke/index.php/the-senate


The Senate handbook on operations of committees. First edition. August 2017

The Senate procedural handbook. First edition. August 2017

State Department of Devolution

Currently housed under the Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (MODA), the State Department of Devolution facilitates the implementation of the devolved system of government through the review and development of requisite policies, laws, guidelines and regulations necessary for the effective implementation of devolution. It is responsible for developing and implementing devolution policy, intergovernmental relations, providing capacity building and technical assistance to county governments, managing, monitoring and evaluation devolution affairs, among others.

The Department is instrumental in supporting the creation of an enabling and supportive environment for devolution and offering policy, institutional and technical advisory support to counties and other devolution intergovernmental institutions.

Learn more about the State Department of Devolution: http://www.devolution.go.ke


The National Treasury

The National Treasury is the responsible for establishing and managing national economic, fiscal and budget policy, mobilising budgetary requirements for both levels of government and establishing, and ensuring an efficient financial management system. It oversees the budget preparation of the National Government and receives quarterly national budget implementation reports.

The National Treasury plays a critical role in the determination of the division and allocation of revenues raised nationally to county governments. Every year, it prepares and submits to Parliament:

  • the Annual Division of Revenue Bill, which defines the share of revenues raised nationally that are allocated to national and county governments; and
  • the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, which provides basis for allocating the share of national revenue among the counties.

These two Bills are prepared according to the Public Financial Management Act (2010), taking into consideration the recommendations of the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC).

The National Treasury is also responsible for strengthening relations between both levels of government and plays important regulatory and facilitative roles and supports the development of the county government’s capacity for efficient, effective and transparent financial management. 

Learn more about The National Treasury: https://www.treasury.go.ke


Public Financial Management Act (2012)

Ministries, Departments and Agencies

All sectoral Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the national government play a role in county governance and service delivery by either: (a) delivering services according to their mandate; or (b) providing the overarching national policy framework and service delivery standards for devolved functions. In addition, national ministries are required to provide technical assistance and support the development of county governments’ capacity.

Inter-governmental sectoral forums and other established mechanisms enable effective coordination, cooperation and collaboration in the delivery of both the devolved and concurrent functions (those performed by both the national and county government).

County Commissioners

Most national MDAs have deconcentrated structures at the county and sub-county level – that is personnel dedicated to and/or offices located in each county. To ensure proper coordination of all national government activities at the county level, the President – or the Cabinet Secretary in charge of national co-ordination (see Art 15 of the National Co-ordination Act, 2013) appoints County Commissioners.

Their main responsibilities include:

  • coordinate of National Government functions and delivery of services;
  • coordinate security management;
  • facilitate conflict management and peace-building;
  • provide liaison, collaboration and partnership between the National Government and the County Government;
  • coordinate disaster management and emergency response;
  • facilitate participation of the people in National Government policy formulation and articulation.


Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO)

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) It is established in the Parliamentary Service Commission as a research office that supports Parliament’s role in the budget process. It conducts research and analysis and helps Parliament to read, understand and debate the budget proposals tabled by the various arms of government each year. It works directly with and supports the Budget Committee in Parliament.

PBO also plays an important role in supporting to build the capacity of the County Assembly Budget Committees and Clerks and Fiscal Analysts to perform their functions.

Learn more about PBO: http://www.parliament.go.ke/the-national-assembly/budget-office/about-PBO


Guide to effective oversight and scrutiny of budgets, economic policies and related documents: A source book for legislators and fiscal analysts. PBO. 2019