Nyandarua named for disclosing the least budget information to public

Nyandarua County disclosed the least budget information to the public last financial year compared to its Central Economic Bloc peers, to the displeasure of its residents.

According to The Kenya County Budget Transparency Survey 2021 by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), Nyandarua scored a low 49 points on the level of information provided through the County Budget Review Outlook Paper, CBROP.

Citizens Budget, Quarterly Budget Implementation Reports, Programme Based Budgets, Annual Development Plans and County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP) are some of the public budget documents that are required by law, to be availed for public scrutiny.

“If citizens cannot make connections on the budget information provided by the sub national levels, then decisions on budget priorities are never of help to them in their focus areas like fighting poverty and ensuring equity,” noted the report, published last week.

Nyeri scored highly at 72, with Kirinyaga cited as the most improved in transparency at 59 out of 100 points, considering that none of its published budget documents were availed for public scrutiny in 2020.

“As we speak, that programme based budget is yet to be availed for scrutiny. Worse of all is when we learn that whatever was budgeted was actually diverted to other less priority areas in the name of supplementary budgets, which don’t go through public participation,” noted Charles Macharia.

Nyandarua County Chief Officer for Finance, Wainaina Muigai, told KNA on phone that the documents were available and approved for uploading on the website.

“The finance team is working on the documents to ensure that all are availed for scrutiny, latest Thursday this week. The documents are ready and approved for publishing,” added Mr. Wainaina.

Currently available on the www.nyandarua.go.ke website is the CFSP for financial year 2022/2023 that aims at increasing revenue and balancing the county’s fiscal spending, while focusing more on development.

The transparency survey, anchored on the need for accountability, public participation and equity is meant to hold the devolved units accountable by oversight institutions, while contributing to decision-making and dialogue between the governments and the citizens.

The report noted that six out of the 10 counties in the bloc, failed to make public, at least one document that they had disclosed in 2020, with Laikipia, Tharaka Nithi and Embu, joining Nyandarua.

“On the level of information provided in the published budget documents, Nakuru County provided the highest information on the County Fiscal Strategy Paper compared to all other counties at 93 percent,” the survey noted.

The availability survey that provided two weeks’ room for the county executives and county assemblies to respond, commenced in August when timeline for publication of the final budget and fourth quarter implementation report had ended on July 31 as per the law.

The report noted that the Southeastern region was the most transparent bloc 51.2 points with Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani scoring the least at 23.5 out of the possible 100 points.



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