An investigation into the factors that affect government spending of the budget allocations by the accounting officers
Nkanata, Edith Kainda
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Budget transparency and utilization is being advocated across the world as the means to directing economic growth, efficient allocation of national resources between consumption and investment among sectors equitable distribution of national resources and achieving macroeconomic stability. In Kenya the fiscal policy has remained the most challenging and complex area of microeconomic management characterized by persistent budget deficits, low economic rates, and rising debt burden. The general objective of the study was to investigate the factors affecting the government spending of the budget allocations by the accounting officers in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The population of the study consisted of the 42 government ministries. The sample design employed yielded a sample of 70 respondents. The primary data was collected through the questionnaire which was analysed using descriptive statistics and are presented in tables and charts. The study found out that policies and procedures influence the spending of budget allocations. The procurement process identified as being lengthy and subject to external influences. The financial regulations were sighted as being short on authority to undertake budget reallocations and that there are gaps between spending regulations, policy and technical instructions on budget executions. The difficulties that AG office faces have also contributed to the challenges in expending budget allocations. The current financial reforms have contributed to an improvement in expending budget allocations, however some of the financial reforms lack users and operators support and that the financial reforms were skewed towards policy rather than technical issues. The legal and institutional framework is weak and need modification with the executive abusing the legal provisions for enhancing budget flexibility, whereas the legislature was found to have power to control the utilization of budget allocations. The challenges of matching budget allocations against policies create pathway for unethical practices. Political and sectarian interest on benefits associated with budget allocations was also found to influence budget expending. The study recommends that the policies and procedures of budgeting, procurement, government financial regulations, financial reforms and the legal framework be realigning and harmonized in order to support the goals of government spending the budget allocations.