MPs get more powers to revise the national budget
The new parliament will review the implementation of the national budget every three months after lawmakers change House rules to strengthen executive oversight of spending.
The Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) of the 13th Legislature will review the execution of the national budget by reviewing the quarterly reports submitted by the Secretary to the Cabinet of the Treasury in accordance with the Public Financial Management Act.
The Committee on Procedure and Rules of Procedure successfully lobbied MPs to amend the rules of procedure to provide for the procedure for monitoring the execution of the budget.
The committee said that the Rules of Procedure do not provide for oversight of the execution of the national budget by the BAC, which therefore limits the oversight role of the Chamber on the national budget.
The committee said there is a need to amend the Rules of Procedure to create mechanisms through which BAC and departmental committees can monitor the implementation of the national budget,” the committee said in a report.
“Article 216 of the Regulations shall be amended by…on a quarterly basis, monitor and report on the execution of the national budget in accordance with its mandate,” the new rules state.
The changes to House rules come at a time when the Comptroller of the Budget (CoB) is seeking real-time access to the bank accounts of all public institutions in a bid to limit overdrafts of public funds.
The Comptroller of the 2021 Budget Regulations tabled in the National Assembly seeks to compel the National Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya to give the CoB real-time access to monitor the movement of cash in and out of accounts.
Newly published regulations in the Official Gazette will give the Budget Controller a closer eye on the outflow of funds from the Consolidated Fund, Equalization Fund, County Revenue Fund and any other public accounts to ensure accounting officers do not exceed not the ceilings set in the use of public funds.
Currently, the CoB does not have access to the accounts, a loophole that has paved the way for questionable use of funds at both levels of government.