NAIROBI, Kenya , Apr 30 -The National Taxpayers Association (NTA) has called on the county governors to ensure citizens are fully involved in the county budgets making processes.
The association’s projects officer Helen Muchunu says this should be through creating awareness that will allow more citizens to participate in forums on budgets scrutiny at the county levels.
This will help in ensuring citizens are aware of how the money is spent in implementing various projects at the counties.
“Citizens should be involved in the county budget process from the word go. So what we are telling citizens is that you need to find out where your county government is holding the public hearings on the budget,” Muchunu said.
Lack of transparency and accountability, she says in the management of public resources coupled with absence of public information on actual revenue and expenditure has directly contributed to corruption and inadequate service delivery for the tax payers.
Muchunu says public consultations in the planning and budget process should occur at all stages in this process including formulation, enactment, implementation and evaluation.
The association wants the timeline and venues for public consultations to be made known at least two weeks in advance for better preparations.
It has also insisted on simplification of the budget documents, adding that despite some accessing the information, they cannot critic as they do not understand the content.
“Even for the educated, when you see a volume of numbers, it is not easy to interpret. We are saying the County Budget and Economic Forum should take this up and simplify the information for the people,” she added.
NTA wants all the plan and budget documents to have an executive summary and narrative explanation of tables and figures.
“All these documents should be written in user-friendly, simple format or should be accompanied by simplified versions that are readily accessible,” she emphasised.
NTA has launched a budget guidebook that will be distributed in all county governments to give directions on the process especially transparency and citizen participation in the process.