CPA Dr Margaret Nyakang’o making her presentation during the 6th Public Finance Management Conference in Kisumu
The 6th Public Finance Management (PFM) conference, hosted by the Association of Women Accountants in Kenya (AWAK) was held from 6th to 10th November 2023 in Kisumu. The conference, which was themed ‘Sustainability and Impact: Embracing ESG Principles in PFM, was attended by the Controller of Budget CPA Dr Margaret Nyakang’o among other dignitaries.
In her presentation titled ‘Effective Implementation of Accountability and Transparency Measures in Public Finance Management (PFM)’, Dr. Nyakang’o outlined her office’s mandate in overseeing the implementation of budgets for both national and county governments. She elucidated the accountability and transparency measures within the PFM Act, addressing challenges and suggesting recommendations for improvement.
Discussing the broader scope of public finance management, she emphasized its role in ensuring efficient, effective, and transparent use of public resources to achieve government objectives. Dr Nyakang’o underscored how PFM promotes accountability, transparency, and the rule of law, fostering public trust in a country’s economy.
On accountability, she emphasized that this amounted to answerability, culpability, liability, and the expectation of account-giving. Dr Nyakang’o emphasized that accountability entails taking ownership and being responsible for the utilization of public resources.
While recognizing the autonomy of national and county governments in managing public resources, she highlighted the guidance provided by fiscal responsibility laws aimed at improving financial outcomes with transparency and accountability. The Public Finance Management Regulations, she explained, require accounting officers to make expenditure commitments only against the approved budget, ensuring proper accounting for revenues.
Dr Nyakang’o detailed her role in ensuring the prudent and efficient use of public funds through monitoring, evaluating, and reporting via Budget Implementation Review Reports. Additionally, she explained the monitoring and evaluation of government programs and projects under the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (NIMES) and County Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (CIMES) framework at national and county levels.
Dr Margaret Nyakang’o 3rd left poses with the AWAK leadership
She said that despite established PFM frameworks, there were still challenges hindering effective implementation and categorized them into Legal, Institutional, Accountability, and Transparency issues. Challenges, she said included inadequate implementation and enforcement of legal frameworks, lack of awareness among PFM stakeholders, political interference, and insufficient resource allocation, among others.
To address these challenges, Dr Nyakang’o proposed recommendations such as enhancing the implementation and enforcement of legal frameworks, sensitization of stakeholders, promoting a culture of sound leadership and integrity, and holding perpetrators of fraud accountable.
In her closing remarks, she emphasized the pivotal role accountants played in ensuring the effective implementation of accountability and transparency in public finance management, through their involvement in financial planning, budgeting, reporting, auditing, and adherence to various laws.
“Accountants contribute to the responsible use of public funds,” Dr Nyakang’o said and concluded by emphasizing that a commitment to accountability and transparency was essential for good governance and the well-being of citizens.