Mombasa: Plans under way to establish regional planning offices

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State Department for Planning Principal Secretary Saitoti Torome ( R) holds discussions with Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata at Uhuru na Kazi Building in Mombasa

The national government has rolled out the establishment of Regional and County Planning offices to coordinate development activities in the counties.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) in July this year approved deployment of 47 directors of planning at the Counties.

However due to budgetary constraints, the State Department for Planning will initially establish eight regional offices to be manned by regional directors of planning.

Planning Principal Secretary Saitoti Torome said the establishment of the offices would strengthen the development-planning role and improve linkages between national and county levels of planning.

Speaking in Mombasa when he paid a courtesy call on the Coast Regional Commissioner (RC) John Elungata at his Uhuru na Kazi office, Torome said the planning directors will be responsible for coordinating national government development planning for all counties under their jurisdictions.

He said among key functions of the county planning offices will be   to coordinate preparation of region-specific Annual National Government Plans and prepare regional quarterly and annual progress reports to inform the National Annual Progress Reports.

Other functions of the planning directors will be to provide technical support in implementation of regional multi-sectoral national government projects and programmes as well as the public investment management activities.

County directors of planning will also liase with government research institutions to carry out surveys to generate, develop, update and maintain regional socio-economic database required for planning.

Torome said the State Department has proposed that the Regional and County Planning offices to have a staff establishment of 149 positions.

On his part, Elungata welcomed the establishment of the regional and county planning offices saying they will provide the much needed technical support to Regional and County Development Implementation Coordination Committees (RDICC).

Elungata said nearly 80 departments and various government agencies in the region are members of the (RDICC).

He said the planning officers will add value to the regional and county committees and help capture national government projects and programmes taking place at the counties.

“The national government is undertaking major infrastructural and other projects which need to be well documented and brought to the attention of the public,’’ said the Regional Commissioner.

He said it was important to have a proper inventory of all national government projects and programmes at the county levels.

Elungata said the national government has invested massively in the infrastructural and other projects in the Coast region, which have boosted investment and tourism.

The Regional Commissioner added that the region is a beneficiary of more than 500 billion shilling projects.

Among the projects he cited is the Sh10 billion Garsen-Witu- Mokowe road which is part of the Sh40 billion infrastructural projects in three Coast counties.

Before the introduction of Devolution in 2013, the Planning Department had Provincial and District Planning officers.