Kenya ranked among top countries in budget transparency
Increased availability of budget information has made Kenya to be ranked fourth in Africa with a score of 50 out of 100 with regard to transparency in budgets, a new report has revealed.
The 2019 Open Budget Survey shows that the Kenyan government is moving towards making more budget information publicly available on the government websites even though more needs to be done.
The study looked at government websites to assess how much budget information is available freely and accessible. It also looked at how citizens access government budget information.
According to the Institute of Public Finance Kenya, Chief Executive Officer, James Muraguri Kenya has increased the availability of budget information by increasing available budget information in the In-Year Report.
However, Kenya has decreased the availability of budget information by Producing the Audit Report for internal use only.
“Kenya has made improvement from the previous ranking in 2017, where it scored 46 out of 100. However, to continue improving on the budget transparency ranking, the government needs to include in the Executive's Budget Proposal financial and macroeconomic information,” says Muraguri.
This includes publishing information on financial assets and contingent and future liabilities, as well as estimates of the nominal GDP level, inflation rate, and interest rates.
Further, this information should be made publicly available on the treasury website.
Apart from that Kenya should publish the Mid-Year Review and Audit Report online in a timely manner.
The Mid-Year Review should be published online within three months of the mid-point of the fiscal year, while the Audit Report should be published online within 18 months of the end of the fiscal year.
Also the government should include in the Year-End Report performance information and detailed actual outcomes for expenditures as well as improve the comprehensiveness of the Citizens Budget and Enacted Budget.
“Transparency alone is insufficient for improving governance. Inclusive public participation is crucial for realizing the positive outcomes associated with greater budget transparency.”
The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only independent, comparative and fact-based research instrument that uses internationally accepted criteria to assess public access to central government budget information; formal opportunities for the public to participate in the national budget process and the role of budget oversight institutions such as the legislature and auditor in the budget process.
It’s done every two years by the International Budget Partnership, and locally through its partner, the Institute of Public Finance – Kenya.
The Institute of Public Finance is a local organization that focuses on research, training, and capacity building around budget processes in Kenya.
They also train citizens to be involved in the budget-making process at the county level, through participating in public participation.