world bankThe World Bank has lauded Kenya for strengthening public participation to boost service delivery in the public service.

A senior development specialist at the Bretton Woods institution, Mr. Christopher Finch, said public participation stands to accelerate growth in national and county governments, especially in previously neglected areas.

Mr. Finch made the remarks during a meeting between the bank’s officials and senior officials of 13 counties in Western Kenya and the North Rift to share ideas on how to strengthen public participation in service delivery.

Baringo, Nakuru, Nandi, Bomet, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bungoma, Kakamega, Kisumu, Kericho and Vihiga counties were represented at the forum.

A report by US multinational lender-Citi called on counties to plan ahead to increase development expenditure.

Citi’s Kenya on the Cusp report released said, “First, the new county governments have not been able to spend as much as budgeted.”

“So money has simply not been spent as planned and forecasting the level of underspend has not proved easy.”

The survey also projects a positive economic growth for the country despite the prevailing political undercurrents.

“In our view, the performance of the Kenyan economy, led by the private sector, has defied the political doubters in recent years. The performance of the economy in recent years is clearly the basis for a very positive outlook for Kenya going forward,” Citi said.

Political stability, both at the national and county levels of governance, would be very critical in determining the country’s economic progress in future, the report said.

In proposed public sector reforms, the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich said the government would reform business regulatory regimes across both levels of government by September.

“Building the progress achieved thus far, the government will, by September 2015, further simply and modernize business regulatory regimes, nationalize all regulatory fees and other charges and establish an institutional and legal framework for management of regulatory charges, including those imposed by county governments,” Mr. Rotich said.