The Citizen Handbook

Fundamentals of Devolution

Intergovernmental Relations

Importance of Intergovernmental Relations

The relations between the various levels and layers of government are extremely important in a devolved government system. While the Constitution assigns specific mandates to each level of government, you as a citizen cannot be well served if there is no coordination among the various government entities in planning and service delivery. There is always a possibility of conflict between the national government and county governments,and among the county governments. As such, there is a need for an intergovernmental coordinating mechanism.

Principles of Intergovernmental Relations

Clause 4 of The Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012 outlines key principles of intergovernmental relations. They are as follows:

   · recognizing the sovereignty of the Kenyan people;

   · inclusive and participatory governance;

   · promotion of national values, constitutional governance principles, and service delivery equality;

   · respecting the constitutional status of the government levels and institutions;

   · objective and impartial decision-making;

   · minimizing intergovernmental disputes;

   · promoting accountability to the people; and

   · institutionalising the protection of marginalized groups

Objectives of Intergovernmental Relations

Clause 5 of The Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012 outlines the objectives of Kenya's intergovernmental relations. They are as follows:

   · facilitate the implementation of the devolution objects and principles outlined in the Constitution;

   · facilitate cooperation and consultation between national and county governments and amongst county governments;

   · provide a forum for coordinating government policies, legislation and functions;

   · provide mechanisms for the transfer of power, functions and competencies to either level of government; and

   · promote accountability between the two levels of government or amongst county governments.

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