, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – The National Taxpayers Association (NTA) has come up with a budget monitoring tool to be used by citizens to enable them closely scrutinise service delivery by their respective county governments.
NTA National Coordinator Martin Napisa says the tool will help Kenyans ensure that the money allocated to their counties is not misused.
“This tool will be good for county governments to also gauge their performance. We have focused on devolved functions like health, education, agriculture as well as well as the budget process,” he said.
The monitoring tool entails an annual survey where citizens from a particular county are asked questions to check their level of satisfaction in the budget making process as well as its implementation.
As a pilot project, NTA has done a survey in Nyeri County for the 2014/2015 financial year, where 50 percent of the residents expressed satisfaction with the way money was used and service delivery.
The tool will be rolled in all the counties by the end of the year.
Napisa says the tool will also help in keeping records of performance by the counties and empower citizens to ask factual questions especially during public forums in the budget making processes.
“One thing that came out clean in Nyeri County was that a majority of the people do not understand what is all about a budget. They have no idea and cannot even analyze anything. When people have a small and simpler document like this they will be able to ask relevant questions and demand answers,” Napisa said.
But while appreciating the new developments of coming up with the budget monitoring tool, the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) however warned of giving citizens high expectations which could later bring conflict.
CRA Research and Policy Director Linet Oyugi said there was need for organizations like NTA to also go back and educate Kenyans on the services they should demand from their county governments and those they should wait for a while.
“Yes, the citizens have been empowered they have been given a tool, but they also need to be trained because a budget is a technical tool. For you to be able to understand the budget you must have the capacity to understand it,” she said.