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In Kenya, the constitution dictates that the public must be part of the budget-making process, and this is therefore promoting public participation in the national exercise.
With this year’s national Budget standing at over 2.2 trillion, greater oversight is required by Parliament to ensure taxpayers get value for every cent and citizens’ priorities are well captured in the budget process.
By doing so, the public will receive sufficient budget information to enable them to understand and influence the usage of taxes.  The substantial budget information will also enable the citizens to engage effectively in the budget process.


Similarly, citizens must ensure that they get actively involved in the budget – making process for their own benefit.  Professionals such as accountants, lawyers and public administrators should take the lead in contributing to discussions about national and county budgets, especially now when most governance functions have been devolved to the counties. For far too long, budget-making has been left to a few people in the society for example the politicians.
With the huge amount of public funds re-allocated to the grassroots, professional input is required in order to help the County Assemblies to perform their work effectively and capture well the people’s aspirations.
If more citizens and local professionals were more fully involved, there will be greater scrutiny in the County Assemblies. Kenyans have everything to gain if they get more involved in the budget – making process.
Analysts and experts in economics, public finance, political economy and accountancy have called for increased comprehensiveness of the executive budget proposal and publishing more information in the enacted budget.  This will improve transparency and provide adequate systems for ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively.
In the Kenyan case, budget openness can improve budget transparency by increasing the comprehensiveness of the executives’ budget proposal by presenting the classification of expenditures for prior years and more details on corporations’ assets.
Publishing a mid-year review and increasing the comprehensiveness of the year-end report by presenting more details on planned versus actual expenditures and performance will serve the public better.  This will further provide sufficient budget transparency and opportunities for public participation and adequate information for formal oversight institutions.
The public needs access to budget information and opportunities to participate throughout the budget process.  Coupled with oversight by legislatures and audit institutions, this contributes to a more accountable use of public money.
Active participation in the budget-making process would allow greater transparency in determining if our hard-earned taxes and other resources are being utilized properly.
In all likelihood, those in-charge of resource distribution would be compelled to be more accountable, and this is a challenge every Kenyan must take up now.
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