Kitui tops Lower Eastern, Makueni and Machakos trail behind in County Budget Transparency

Since the commencement of devolution in Kenya in 2013, there has been increased interest by citizens to learn more about Public Budget as it remains the most important policy tool to deal with inequalities and poverty.

 However, for participation to be meaningful and effective, citizens should have access to timely, comprehensive, relevant, and accurate information on budget decisions. This, therefore, means that counties should proactively share budget information on all key decisions throughout the budget cycle and within the legal timelines.

 The constitution of Kenya and the 2012 Public Finance Management Act require each of Kenya’s 47 counties to publish budget information during the formulation, approval, implementation, and audit stages of the budget cycle. This information allows the public to shape county budget priorities, discuss trade-offs with their representatives in the county assemblies, and track whether the budget is delivering on what was agreed upon during consultations between the public, executive, and assembly.

International Budget Partnership Kenya (IBP Kenya) carried out the County Budget Transparency Survey in 47 counties which evaluated information in ten key budget documents covering the year 2020/21based on their availability and the level of information in those that were found available to the public. Here are the findings from Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties and the recommendations made.

Kitui County

Kitui County published 9 out of 10 key budget documents and had a transparency index of 66/100 points in CBTS 2021. It is also one of the 24 counties that made more budget documents publicly available. It published 90% of budget documents under evaluation in CBTS 2021, up 55% in CBTS 2020. The County has never published the County Finance Act. Kitui County provided the highest level of comprehensiveness compared to all other counties in their County Budget Review and Outlook Paper at 92 out of 100 points.

 Also, the county had more details on their Approved Programme Based Budget at 68 out of 100 points against other counties that performed below that. The Annual Development Plan had no details on the breakdown of Own Source Revenue to their individual sources with their coming year’s targets. With regard to documentation of public participation, the CBTS 2021 evaluated information on three budget documents namely Annual Development Plan, County Fiscal Strategy Paper, and Approved Programme Based Budget and found that the budget documents lacked information on public participation.

Comparison made between Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties revealed that Kitui County performed better than the other two counties in the Southeastern Kenya regional economic bloc. It is also the only county that recorded an improvement in the county budget transparency index, as the other two dropped in the current survey compared to CBTS 2020.

Makueni County

Makueni County published 6 out of 10 key budget documents and had a transparency index of 55/100 points in CBTS 2021. In the last two surveys, the number of budget documents published by Makueni County has been inconsistent even as the overall number of documents published across all 47 counties went up from 40% in CBTS 2020 to 42% in CBTS 2021. Makueni county is one of the 23 counties that recorded a drop in the number of budget documents publicly available in CBTS 2021 compared to CBTS 2020 by publishing 6 out of 10 budget documents.

With regard to comprehensiveness in the content of the key budget documents, Makueni county has local revenue targets broken down into individual streams. Also, there are no details on the capital projects, such as location, costs, and timelines. In addition, the Approved Programme Based Budget does not present the information on multi-year historical performance and projections for revenue. Documentation of Public Participation reveals that Annual Development Plans, County Fiscal Strategy Papers, and Approved Programme Based Budgets scored 42 out of 100 points of the information on public participation, which is the first indicator that requires the county to have a section in the budget document with information on the public participation, which entails the priorities submitted from the public, who was involved. At what level (sub-county, ward, or village) it was conducted? The second indicator explains the priorities in shaping the final budget documents.

Machakos county

Machakos county published 3 out of 10 key budget documents and has a transparency index of 33/100 points in CBTS 2021.In the last two surveys, the number of budget documents published by Machakos county has been inconsistent even as the overall number of documents published across all 47 counties went up from 40% in CBTS 2020 to 42% in CBTS 2021. Machakos county is one of the 23 counties that recorded a drop in the number of budget documents publicly available in CBTS 2021 compared to CBTS 2020 by only publishing 3 out of 10 budget documents.

 With regard to comprehensiveness in the content of the key budget documents, Machakos County does not present the revenue information, and expenditure allocations are broken down to recurrent and development at the departmental level, also details on capital projects in Annual Development Plan. The Approved Programme Based Budget does not have historical expenditure details for at least two past years, no personnel details such as designation and the costs by departments. Also, no information on the details of the capital projects. With regard to documentation of public participation, in three key budget documents namely Annual Development Plans, County Fiscal Strategy Papers, and Approved Programme Based Budgets. Machakos had all of these and provided 33 out of 100 points of the information on public participation on the first indicator that requires the county to have a section in the budget document with information on public participation, which entails the priorities submitted from the public, who was involved. At what level (sub-county, ward, or village) it was conducted.

This information was provided in the CFSP for Machakos county, but the county has no explanation of what the priorities informed in shaping the final budget documents. CBTS 2021 has a number of recommendations for the County. Machakos County stopped publishing Quarterly Implementation Reports, Citizens Budget, and Finance Act.

Stay in touch ...

33,925FansLike
2,665FollowersFollow
1,010SubscribersSubscribe
error: Content is protected !!