Compliance of Budgeting Practices to Budgeting Norms by Government Entities in Kenya: A Case of the Legislature
Kanyi, Eric Ng’ang’a
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The enactment of Constitution of Kenya in 2010 resulted to far reaching changes on the management of public resources in Kenya. One of the key departures from the past is the enhanced role of the Legislature in public finance oversight. The Constitution empowered the Legislature to provide oversight and accountability over the use of public finances including budget approval for all government entities as well as ensuring all government entities follow laid down procedures on budgeting. Given this power, the question is whether the Legislature is employing budgeting practices which are in conformity with the established norms on budgeting in preparing its own budget as well as adopting best budgeting practices. This is premised on the fact that the Legislature will not be able to authoritatively impose sanctions to government entities for financial malpractices as a result of poor budgeting practices if the Legislature itself is not following budgeting practices put in place. Thus, the objective of the study was to assess the compliance of budgeting practices to established norms on budgeting in the Legislature. The study used descriptive design. The target respondents were the employees of the administrative arm of the Legislature, that is, the Parliamentary Service Commission in the Directorate of Finance and Accounting and the Directorate of Budget based at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi. These two directorates were selected for the study because they conversant with budgeting practices in the public sector and are both involved directly and indirectly with budgeting in the Legislature. The data for the study was collected from primary source through administration of questionnaires. The Study used descriptive statistical technique since the research was intended to describe the existing budgeting practices in the Legislature. The results revealed that generally, the Legislature has adhered to the established norms on budgeting in its budgeting processes (budgeting practices) as well as adopting budget best practices. However, the study revealed a number of issues that need to be addressed by the Legislature to improve on the budgeting practices. Thus, study recommends that certain aspects of budgeting practices within the Legislature be reviewed. The critical recommended aspects of budgeting practices which need to be reviewed include among others having a budget manual in place, aligning the budget with the strategic plan and goals, basing resource allocation to various activities on cost benefit analysis as well as involving the critical stakeholders during budgeting. The study recommends the need to expand the scope of the study to include other government entities with different characteristics compared to the Legislature. The study recommends further research examine whether adherence of budgeting practices to budgeting norms in public budgeting results to prudent utilization of public resources and efficient delivery public goods.
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