News from Counties

Kisumu County ICTKisumu County will soon be hitting the two billion shillings mark, in domestic revenue collection thanks to the Electronic Revenue platform. This figure is bound to shoot even higher once a cashless payment platform is integrated in the next few weeks, hence reducing contact between clients and revenue officers leading to decline in loss of revenue collection.
Training on the cashless modules i.e. pay bill number and unstructured service set date (USSD) is due to start early next week Due to the setting up of the platform and the improvement registered in revenue collection, the county has been recognized as one of the friendliest places to do business in Kenya, in a recent survey.
The study done by World Bank in 2016, measuring 11 counties, revealed that while it was easy to start a business in Uasin-Gishu (Eldoret), register a property in Nairobi, it is easy to obtain a construction permit in Kisumu.
The study equated the top ranking to the Kisumu’s government’s electronic platform for construction permits, launched in 2015. With this improvement, Kisumu moved up from the middle of the ranking in 2012 to become the easiest place to deal with construction permits in 2016. In addition, the National Environment Management Agency’s branch in Kisumu is now more efficient at screening construction projects for potential harmful environmental impact than it is in other counties.
The success realized on this platform has seen IT experts, take different counties through the process of setting up platform as well as it implementation, some of the counties that have benchmarked with Kisumu county include Vihiga, Kericho, Nyamira, Marsabit and recently west Pokot.
Though the county is yet to meet its annual target for domestic revenue collection which currently stands at a billion shillings, strides worth celebrating have been made as the expanded revenue has been as a result of voluntary compliance.
The process which began in May 2014, was to deal with the dwindling revenue targets and runaway integrity issues surrounding the predecessor legacy systems.
Technical reasons for setting up this automated platform included need for a secure database for all revenue streams, embedded ticketing system with multi-platform accessibility (web & mobile), Support for cash & cashless transactions with real time reporting and improved monitoring and supervision and ease of integration with existing systems
The setting up of the E- revenue platforms have not just accrued monitory gains to the county, it has impacted positively on new business register which is up to date, and is also accurate data with improved projections informing decision-making.
At the onset of the E- revenue project, 64.7 percent of the budget for the year 2014/2015 was realized, with a collection total of Ksh 970, 903,407 registered. In the subsequent year the amount collected was 984,794,407 against a target of 1.9 billion shillings, while in 2016/2017 1.5 billion shillings was collected. The highest revenue generators in Kisumu is the health department 68.55 percent, followed by land rates 56.36 then bus parking fees and market fees while the lowest generator being the malaria prevention service fee stream.
The target of revenue to be generated from the malaria prevention service was 20,000, however not a cent was collected from the particular stream.
The E- revenue collection project which started some four years ago is on its 3rd phase of implementation, ones the project is complete it will also register collection of revenue from both structured and unstructured sectors. The progress registered from partial automation of E -revenue has been from just from the market, Bus Park and the town parking.
Besides Kisumu County, Only Nyeri and Mombasa counties are currently benefitting from ease in revenue collections as a result of the electronic platforms that have enhanced public service delivery, transparency and accountability.
Generation of E- revenue in Kisumu County has been made possible through several platforms developed including the E-trace licensing and the E-construction hosted on the counties website enabling citizens to access unlimited service from anywhere as long as they have stable internet connection. Revenue from bus parks, markets and town parking are received and recorded using a digitized system hence increasing efficiency in service delivery.
The E- trade licensing has benefitted the business community in this region by enabling easy access, since the system can be logged in anywhere and anytime, as long as there is internet connectivity.
It has also provided a wide variety of payment options for the business community to pick from. It has reduced cost of doing business related to compliance.

With its existence, there is increased access to government services and quality of service delivery. Clients do not have to que since delay has been eradicated, enhanced transparency and predictability of government services.

The E-Licensing platform has improved communication between the county officers and the business community while enhancing revenue collection through the end-to-end online service. This business-intelligence module is also enabling accurate, real time business reports and trend analysis.
A pilot of the automation of revenue collection was done on May5th, 2014 to July 30th, 2014. A parallel implementation ensured July 1st 2014 to August 30th, 2014 while the actual system automation (Stream by stream) was carried out in September 5th – 10th September, 2014.
During the pilot duration about 60 IT graduates were initially engaged on casual terms as “change agents” to spearhead the deployment process. The casuals worked hand in hand with the existing Revenue officers, and a Ksh. 45 million was collected during the trail, that was 65% Increase in pilot areas in revenue collection.

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