Institute of Public Finance Kenya (IPFK) has called on members of the public in Kilifi County to participate in the budget making process to promote transparency and accountability in the utilization of the public fund.

            During a stakeholder forum held at Mnarani in Kilifi County involving Civil Society Organizations(CSO) representatives, Kilifi County Assembly, People Living with Disabilities, and IPFK, one of the gaps identified was limited public participation in the implementation and audit stage of the budget.

            Speaking During the meeting, IPFK Project Officer Asha Bakari said that the organization is dedicated to ensuring that members of the public engage in the budgetary process, contribute and ensure that their contributions are considered by the government in decision making.

            She said that a big percentage of people are not knowledgeable about the processes involved in making the budget.

            “A large percentage of the stakeholders do not have the knowledge in the budget making process since it requires some knowledge which the residents may lack. It is the mandate of the residents to look for information and budget making processes to ensure we are involved in the budgetary process,” Ms. Bakari added.

            She urged residents to fully involve themselves in budget issues and take the responsibility to understand the budget documents well in order to work together with the stakeholders.

            Ms. Bakari said IPFK seeks to enhance transparency and participation in the implementation and oversight stages of the budget process through the Timiza Uwazi project.

Institute of Public Finance Kenya(IPFK) Project Officer Asha Bakari speaking to the media during stakeholders’ forum in a Kilifi hotel Thursday Photo by Treeza Auma

            Timiza Uwazi project is being implemented at the national level and Kilifi County with a goal of addressing suppressed legislative oversight and limited public participation in the budget process.

            “Timiza Uwazi project aims to involve stakeholders in the budgetary making process like the media and residents of Kilifi and also those in government are brought aboard in the examining government projects especially in the Audit process,” Ms. Bakari said.

            IPFK Public Management specialist, Mohammed Salat, urged Kilifi residents to embrace the Kenyan constitution act that advocates for public participation in the budgetary process so as to ensure openness in how their money has been used.

            “The Kenyan constitution requires public participation in how the government utilizes public funds and programs and projects implemented on behalf of the public. Public participation is also required in budget making and implementation of the budget,” Salat remarked.

            He said that the initial phases of the budgetary process go well until the point of implementation and audit whereby the public fail to get enough information on how the money has been utilized by the government.

            He said IPFK’s main objective is to oversee the coordination between Kilifi county government and the county assembly on bringing the members of the public on board during the budgetary process.

Institute of Public Finance Kenya(IPFK) Public Finance Management Specialist, Mohammed Salat speaking to the media during stakeholders’ forum in a Kilifi hotel Thursday Photo by Treeza Auma

            Kilifi county assembly Principal clerk William Katana agreed that the county government and county assembly have a huge task of ensuring that moving forward, members of the public are fully involved in the budget making and audit process.

            “The County assembly has a mandate to make laws in overseeing the work of executive and representing the people. It’s important for Kilifi county government to involve all stakeholders in the budget making process,” Katana said.

            He said citizens have a right to access any information they want from the county assembly just by following the right channels. He asked all the stakeholders involved in the budgetary making process to ensure that they involve the residents as it is stipulated in the Kenyan constitution.

           “Sensitization needs to be done since most of the stakeholders do not have the knowledge in the budget making process. We need to have budgetary bodies conducting forums to enable the stakeholders have the knowledge on budget,”

Katana added.

            This happens as the National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani delivers President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration’s last budget on Thursday.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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