MPs get more powers to review national budget – Business Daily
Members of Parliament follow proceedings as National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani unveiled the Sh3.3 trillion Budget at parliament buildings on April 7, 2022. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG
The new parliament will review implementation of the national budget every three months after lawmakers amended House rules to enhance oversight of spending by the Executive.
The Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) of the 13th Parliament will examine implementation of the national budget by reviewing the quarterly reports submitted by Treasury Cabinet Secretary pursuant to the Public Finance Management Act.
The Procedure and House Rules committee successfully lobbied MPs to amend the Standing Orders to provide for the procedure of monitoring budget implementation.
The committee said Standing Orders do not provide for monitoring of the implementation of the national budget by the BAC, which therefore limits the oversight role of the House over the national budget.
The committee said there is need to amend Standing Orders to create mechanisms through which the BAC and departmental committees can monitor the implementation of the national budget,” the committee said in a report.
“Standing Order 216 be amended by…on a quarterly basis, monitor and report on the implementation of the national budget in respect of its mandate,” the new rules state.
The changes to the House rules come at a time the Controller of Budget (CoB) is seeking to have real-time access to bank accounts of all public institutions in a bid to curb overdraws from the public purses.
The Controller of Budget Regulations 2021 tabled in the National Assembly seek to compel the National Treasury and Central Bank of Kenya to give the CoB real-time access to monitor cash movements into and out of the accounts.
The newly gazetted regulations will give the budget controller sharper eyes on cash outflows from the Consolidated Fund, Equalisation Fund, County Revenue Fund and any other public accounts to ensure that accounting officers do not breach set ceilings in the use of public funds.
Currently, the CoB does not have access to the accounts, a loophole that has opened an avenue for questionable use of the funds at the two levels of government.