Siaya County Attorney Ambassador Richard Owade wants the Assembly Budget Committee to give his office an additional KShs. 28 million to fully run its operations that will extend to legal representation of the County Assembly and the 10 departments of the County Executive.
Amb. Owade’s Office has depended on the resources of the Governance Department to run it’s programs until recently when The Office of The County Attorney was established by law as independent.
While appearing before the Assembly Budget Committee chaired by Hon. Sylvester Madialo (Usonga, ODM), Amb. Owade noted that an allocation proposal of KShs. 40 million had been factored in the FY 2021/2022 Budget but an additional KShs. 28 million was needed to better run the programs of his Office.
Amb. Owade who tabled an organogram before the committee to show the proposed operational structure said that the newly established legal department will also require five new offices including that of an accountant, an office administrator and a librarian to enhance its effectiveness. The current staffs including the Deputy County Attorney who could be the County Solicitor and the Legal Officers will continue with their mandate without attracting additional costs.
Hon. Madialo, in response to the request, asked Amb. Owade to expedite its budget making processes and justify the said needs through the County Budget and Economic Forum before consideration by his Committee once more.
He further underscored the need to support the Attorney’s Office as now established by law with specific roles and independence similar to that of Attoney-General at the National Level. The Office as newly established will offer legal representation to the Public Service Board, the County Assembly and the County Executive according to Hon. Madialo.
The Budget Chair said the kind of work that will be handled by the office requires more than the four lawyers currently employed. “If we are sued, they will be taking over and incase any Member of the County Assembly wants to hire private lawyer, they must henceforth seek permission from the office of the County Attoney,” added Amb. Owade.