ICPAK organized its 39th Annual Seminar at the Sarova Whitesands and Pride INN Flamingo Beach Hotels in Mombasa from 23rd to 27th May 2022. This year’s theme was Resilience of Accountants: Weathering the Storm for Sustainable Economic Recovery. The Controller of Budget CPA Dr. Margaret Nyakang’o among other certified accountants attended this colorful event.

Dr. Nyakang’o together her co-presenter the Auditor General, CPA Nancy Gathungu, took to the stage on 24th May to speak about the Adoption of Technology for Effective and Efficient Reporting. The Controller of Budget has continually aired her views on sealing the loopholes of corruption and took this opportunity to highlight ways information technology can support government operations, provide investments for citizens and deliver great government services that are accessible to all.

The Office of the Controller of Budget was established not only to authorize the withdrawal from public coffers but also to oversee the implementation of the budgets of the National and County Governments placing the office at the core center of Kenya’s E-Government strategy (2004). Through the provision of Budget Implementation reports, the Office enhances a citizens’ ability to access information hence reducing opportunities for corruption to prevail.

“To enhance technology in Budget Implementation and Reporting, the OCOB has embarked on developing the Controller of Budget Management Information System (COBMIS)” Dr. Nyakang’o said.

“This user-friendly system will strive to automate the process of data collection by developing data capture and report collection tools, pre-structure reporting features and templates, hence generating timely and accurate information which will greatly improve the turnaround times for reports and create linkages for information gathering from existing systems such as IFMIS” the Controller added.

Currently, the exchequer requisition process, from MDAs and counties is manual, making it a time-consuming paper-based system. The Controller of Budget stated that the National Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya have both initiated automation of the approval process.

“The exchequer automation will ensure all transactions are initiated and processed through the IFMIS and submitted to CBK seamlessly to deliver efficiency and timely processing of exchequer requests and reports,” Dr. Nyakang’o said.

Despite the obvious benefits of technology, she highlighted several challenges that have hindered the journey to complete automation of government services. Incomplete loading of data into IFMIS, inconsistencies between IT systems, delays or failures to upload programs and projects funded under Article 233 into IFMIS and resistance of E-government were the major challenges observed.

Apart from COBMIS, the Office has an interactive website that publicizes budget implementation reports and enables users to interrogate the performance of both National and County governments. OCOB also did not shy away from social media as it has established various social media channels among them Twitter and Facebook where information on budget implementation and any emerging issues are shared and debated on regularly, ensuring effective and efficient reporting.

To cap it all, COB urged public sector institutions to embrace ICT-based initiatives in order to provide an ideal platform to interface with the citizenry and facilitate both supply and demand of information that promotes transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.