Kenya gains some points on budget transparency

James Muraguri, CEO of the Independent Policy Forum (IPF), argued that the public has the right to know how their tax money is used.
Kenya Makes Significant Progress in Budget Transparency

The Open Budget Survey 2023 has found that Kenya is improving its budget transparency.

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Its score rose from 50 in 2021 to 55 in 2023, placing it above the global average of 45 and ranking it 48th out of 125 countries. This means Kenya is now considered more open about allocating and spending taxpayer money to fund public services.

James Muraguri, CEO of the Independent Policy Forum (IPF), argued that the public has the right to know how their tax money is used.

He added that transparency and citizen participation in budgeting lead to better outcomes, including lower deficits, targeted spending, and improved efficiency.

Public engagement can lead to increased trust in government, the CEO said, greater civic participation, and, ultimately, higher tax revenue. This creates a positive cycle, as transparency allows for better public debt management, potentially lowering borrowing costs.

The report’s release coincides with ongoing public hearings on the proposed national budget for 2024/2025.

Due to a widening budget deficit, the government has faced scrutiny over its spending habits.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee approved a budget of KES 3.914 trillion, with estimated tax revenue of KES 3.354 trillion (including ordinary revenue and appropriations-in-aid).

This leaves a projected fiscal deficit of KES 703.9 billion, which is 3.9% of Kenya’s GDP.

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