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Governor Anne Waiguru appears before a Senate Committee during an impeachment trial over financial impropriety/FILE

County News

Kirinyaga among counties with most opaque budgets, West Pokot most transparent

Kirinyaga, according to the 2020 County Budget Transparency Survey released 9n Friday, published none of the 11 key budget documents evaluated.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 — Kirinyaga, Taita Taveta, and Narok counties have been listed as the devolved units with the most opaque budgets having scored zero in a survey conducted by the International Budget Partnership – Kenya.

The counties, according to the 2020 County Budget Transparency Survey released on Friday, published none of the 11 key budget documents evaluated. They scored zero out of the possible 100 points.

The survey assessed 11 key budget documents  including; County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), Annual Development Plan (ADP), County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP), Program-based Budget (PBB), Citizens Budget, Finance Act, Quarterly Budget Implementation  Report, County Budget Review and Outlook Paper (CBROP).

The survey specifically noted that Kirinyaga county led by Anne Waiguru stopped publishing key budget documents in CBTS 2017.

“Other counties that have stagnated in publishing budget documents include Migori, Lamu, Wajir, Narok and Taita Taveta,” the report noted.

West Pokot county led by John lonyangapuo, was on the other hand ranked at the top with the highest level of budget information disclosed.

Alongside Laikipia, West Pokot was ranked as the county with the most transparent budget followed by Nyeri, Makueni, and Samburu counties.

West Pokot County was scored at 73, Laikipia and Nyeri 71 each while Makueni was ranked fourth with a score of 70.

Overall, the survey noted that the average transparency score across all counties was 33 out of 100 points indicating poor disclosure of budget information countrywide.

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None of the 47 counties had a transparency index within the top category of 81-100 points.

“This means that counties are not making budget information available to the public and are not disclosing the kind of information that, by law, counties are required to provide to the citizens and civil society to perform the oversight roles,” the 64-page document read in part.

“The CBTS 2020 results show that most counties do not provide information on the opportunities for public participation. Besides, they also do not provide information on what views were taken up and how they informed the shaping of published budget documents,” it added.

Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kiambu, Laikipia, and West Pokot were listed as the only counties that consistently published their quarterly budget implementation reports across all the four quarters.

The survey, however, noted a progressive improvement in the availability of budget documents attributing the situation to the public demands from the citizens and civil society organizations for counties to avail the key planning documents.

Among the counties that made the most significant gains by publishing 30 per cent more budget documents in the CBTS 2020 as compared to the CBTS 2019 are Turkana, Machakos, Samburu, Makueni and Nyeri.

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