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Penalty and fee units are used in legislation to describe the amount of a fine or a fee.
In the state of Victoria in Australia, penalty units are used to define the amount payable for fines for many offences. For example, the fine for selling a tobacco product to a person aged under 18 is four penalty units. One penalty unit is currently $161.19 from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. The rate for penalty units is indexed each financial year so that it is raised in line with inflation. Any change to the value of a penalty unit will happen on 1 July each year.
Likewise, fee units are used to calculate the cost of a certificate, registration or licence that is set out in an Act or Regulation. For example, the cost of depositing a Will with the supreme court registrar of probates is 1.6 fee units. The value of one fee unit is currently $14.45. This value may increase at the beginning of a financial year, at the same time as penalty units.
The cost of fees and penalties is calculated by multiplying the number of units by the current value of the fee or unit. The upward or downward variation of fees payable for different services across different pieces of legislation is effected through a single amendment to one piece of legislation.
In Uganda, following the hyper-inflation experienced in the 1980’s, the Currency Reform Statute, 1987 which was part of an economic restoration strategy of the National Resistance Movement Government had the unprecedented effect of reducing pecuniary penalties to such stifling sums that a re-think was ordered. It also terribly failed to curb inflation .
The Uganda Law Reform Commission and the Judiciary then devised the currency points system that was in the wake of continued inflation and other factors, able to ensure that a sound co-relation between pecuniary penalties, inflation and periods of incarceration are maintained across different pieces of legislation, and effected through a single amendment. The currency points system has also provided some sort of foundational guidance to policy formulators and drafters on how to “measure” penal provisions in legislation.

The Government has unveiled the ‘Big Four’ agenda. Most of these Big Four priorities require urgent legal interventions to actualise. To achieve these ambitions, the Kenya Law Reform Commission, in collaboration with relevant government agencies, is spearheading the process of formulating or reviewing various legislation to ensure these development priorities are actualised. This note elaborates on the interventions by the KLRC.



In recent days, numerous county governors have appeared before a Senate Committee to answer audit queries emanating from Auditor General's audit report. In this article, we seek to shed light on technical details and framework that anchor public audits in Kenya, with a bias towards the county governments.

Generally, public-sector audit seeks to ensure public entities exercise responsibility for the use of resources derived from taxation and other public finances in the delivery of services to citizens and other recipients.

The scope of public sector audits ensure public entities’ accounts or other financial reports are prepared in accordance with a legally acceptable reporting framework. It aims at ensuring efficient budget implementation and other decisions on the allocation of resources.

The constitutional framework for governance in Kenya introduced a two-tier structure with a national government and 47 county governments. Article 6(2) provides that the two levels of government are distinct, inter-dependent and shall conduct their mutual relations on the basis of consultation and cooperation.

The emergence of the six regional economic blocs in different regions of the country, pegged on a desire to optimize the comparative advantage of counties, their economies of scale and ability to attract investments has been characterized by the adoption of different forms of institutional structures by the different blocs.

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