The principal purpose and objective of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 was to ensure that public finances are well managed at both the National and the County levels of Government in accordance with the principles set out in the Constitution. The major aim was to facilitate effective and efficient use of public resources.
Ensuring public officers mandated with managing finances are accountable to the public for the management of those finances through both Parliament (National Assembly and the Senate) and County Assemblies.
We highlight some of the notable amendments that have been brought forth by the County Allocation of Revenue Act, 2021 (Act No. 9 of 2021) that came into force on 29th of June 2021 and commenced on 14th July 2021.
The County Allocation of Revenue Act, 2021 under section 11 amended section 130 of the Public Finance Management Act 2012 by inserting the following new subsections immediately after subsection (2):
- In preparing the annual appropriation Bill under subsection (2), the county executive committee member responsible for finance shall include, in the allocation to the county assembly any unspent funds that had been appropriated to the county assembly in the immediate preceding financial year.
- Where an Appropriation Bill is passed before the beginning of the financial year (the 2021-22 fiscal year ends on June 30, 2022, and the scheduled date for closing the General Ledger for the 2021 fiscal year is July 13, 2022) to which it relates and does not contain unspent funds allocated to the county assembly in the immediate preceding financial year, the county executive committee member for finance shall prepare and submit to the county assembly a Supplementary Appropriation Bill allocating the unspent funds. In a nutshell the County treasury must ensure all revenue received from the National Government adheres to .
- A Bill prepared under subsection (4) shall be introduced in the county assembly within two months of the commencement of the financial year.
- Failure by the county executive committee member for finance to prepare a Supplementary Appropriation Bill under subsection (4) shall constitute an additional indicator of a serious or persistent material breach under section 94 of the Public Finance Management Act 2012.
Objectives of the Act will be facilitated by the postulated amendments, public officers mandated with managing the finances will now be accountable to the public for the management of those finances through County Assemblies. The public will get an opportunity for greater scrutiny of county affairs and accountability.
Are the amendments a good progress, Will it improve accountability? Will it improve public participation and scrutiny of county affairs? Leave your comments in the comment section.