The Office of the Controller of Budget trained Speakers, Clerks and Budget Committee Chairs on their roles in Budget making process and review of budget planning documents. This assembly of important delegates from the county governments was identified because of the important role they play in the approval process of key planning documents and the budget.
The training was in line with the OCOB Strategic Plan under strategic pillar- “Advice on budgeting and budget implementation”. The Deputy Controller CPA Stephen Masha officially opened the training session on behalf of the Controller of Budget Dr. Margaret Nyakang’o by warmly welcoming the delegates to the forum.
He elucidated OCOB’s Constitutional mandate to the delegates paying attention to the oversight role. “In overseeing the budget implementation, the office monitors both recurrent and development budgets. In doing this, the office reports on any mismanagement of funds and brings this to the attention of other investigating agencies for further investigation” he said.
He further mentioned that the reports are used by the county assemblies to interrogate and hold to account their respective county executives. The county executives, in turn, rely on the reports to review their activities and to take action on the issues raised.
“As part our effort to promote prudence in the management of public funds, we have from time to time passed on to the Auditor General and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission some of the issues that we have picked for further investigation and prosecution”, he mentioned.
He echoed that some of the issues affecting budget execution that the Office highlights the reports include delays in the submission of expenditure reports by spending entities which have adversely affected the timely preparation of the reports and hence the late publication for review by Parliament and other stakeholders.
He noted that the challenges are occasioned by the delays in the approval of key budget policy documents by the counties and also by breach of constitutional roles of the County Assembly in budget formulation and implementation process.
“We have also noticed that some of these challenges are caused by the frosty relationships that at times exist between the county executive and the Assembly whenever they are reviewing and approving key budget policy documents”, he noted.
He reiterated the intention of the training to sensitize the delegates on key aspects of the budget making process, the oversight role of the County Assembly in the budgeting process. Also to review the key budget planning documents including- CIDP, CBROP, ADP, CFSP, and DMSP & Budgets and interrogate the overall County Budget Performance over the years, to cover the role that members of county assemblies play in Social Audit and how to assist in OCOB Exchequer procedures and preparation of reports by OCOB.
Poised in the middle of turning a page, he mentioned his expectations where he mentioned that he expected the delegates to have a better understanding of OCOB’s mandate.
“I hope that it will provide you with the grounding and the necessary interest, as our key stakeholders and partners, to participate more actively in the budgeting process and to forestall the recurrence of incidences of delays in the approval of key budget policy documents by your Counties, including breach of Constitutional roles by the County Assemblies in Budgeting process and to address relationships issues between the County Executive and the Assembly,” he added.
He challenged the delegates to transfer to their respective counties, the knowledge gained on prudence and accountability in public financial management acquired through the interaction to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in the management of public funds.
He concluded by thanking the Government of Kenya through GESDEK under Public Finance Management Reforms, for their financial support that enabled the office to undertake various activities geared towards improving the governance of public funds. He also recognized especially, the resource persons from the County Assembly Forum, Commission on Revenue Allocation, his colleagues from the Office of the Controller of Budget for availing their respective tacit and implicit knowledge. Particular mention was to the Budget Implementation team for their relentless efforts in continuously building the capacity of county officials on behalf of the office.
A participant asks a question during the training
Ms. Lineth Oyugi, Director Economic Affairs at the Commission on Revenue Allocation responds to a question during the training.