June 13, 2024
Report Shows Lack Of Budget Transparency By The County Governments

Report Shows Lack Of Budget Transparency By The County Governments

As county governments advocate for larger budgetary allocations in the coming fiscal year, a recent analysis has revealed serious flaws in the reporting of on-source revenue throughout the nation’s 47 counties. 

The findings were documented in Kenya’s County Budget Transparency Survey (CBTS) 2023, which was issued on Friday, May 24.

According to the research, many counties merely meet the minimum standards for revenue and spending reports. 

Effective public service delivery, particularly for underserved, poor, and marginalized areas, is dependent on proper county budget execution. 

This highlights the important necessity for county governments to provide credible revenue estimates.

However, the research shows that 44 counties failed to reach their Own Source Revenue (OSR) projections for fiscal year 2022/23.

When revenue collections fall short of forecasts, counties risk underspending, which can jeopardize the delivery of critical services. 

“Comprehensive revenue reporting is crucial for enabling citizens to make informed decisions about budget priorities and to monitor budget implementation progress,” notes the report.

In the CBTS 2023, counties disclosed almost two-thirds of the needed information in important budget documents, resulting in a revenue score of 64 out of 100 points.

Notably, the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) supplied the most income information, earning 97 out of 100 points, whereas Annual Development Plans (ADPs) received just 27 out of 100 points. 

This pattern is consistent with the performance in the CBTS 2022, while there have been considerable improvements in specific budget papers over time, with the Finance Act’s income information growing from 33 out of 100 points in CBTS 2020 to 65 points in 2023.

Makueni County was the top performer in revenue information, scoring 83 out of 100 points across major budget documents. 

The majority of counties (21%) earned between 41 and 60 points, placing them in the C category of assessment. 

Uasin Gishu County performed the worst, scoring in the E category (0-21 points).

Several counties, including Kajiado, West Pokot, Nyamira, and Mombasa, scored between 61 and 80 points, while Nyeri, Bungoma, and others dropped into the C group (41-60 points). A few, like Meru, Nyandarua, and Kilifi, were in the D group (21-40 points).

“To empower citizens, they need to know how much revenue their government plans to raise, the historical revenue data, and the sources of these revenues. 

“This transparency serves as the foundation for the legislative obligation that subnational units report complete revenue statistics, including justifications for any disparities between targeted and actual collections. 

“Such detailed reporting would offer a clearer picture of county finances, including the challenges faced and potential solutions,” critics the report.

Following these findings, a committee has been constituted to arbitrate between Senators and Members of the National Assembly over the planned Ksh415 billion allocation to counties.

The Senate advocated boosting the amount to Ksh415 billion, but the National Assembly rejected the plan. 

The 2024/2025 budget estimates allot Ksh391.1 billion to county governments from shared national revenue, which is a Ksh5.7 billion increase over the previous fiscal year allocation.

Report Shows Lack Of Budget Transparency By The County Governments

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