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Nyeri named county with the most transparent budget

Migori and Isiolo were ranked as counties with the most opaque budgets, scoring zero out of 100 points.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga

Nyeri, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet have emerged as the counties with the most transparent budgets, according to a survey released on Friday by the International Budget Partnership Kenya (IBP Kenya).

According to the report, the three counties had scores of 72, 71 and 69 out of a possible 100 points, respectively. Turkana and Samburu locked up the remaining two slots in the top five, scoring 67 points each.

The County Budget Transparency Survey evaluated the level of budget transparency across Kenya's 47 counties.

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Scores were based on whether a county had its budget documents publicly available and on the level of information that was provided in those documents.

Migori and Isiolo were ranked as counties with the most opaque budgets, scoring zero out of 100 points.

However, the number of counties that scored a zero reduced from four in 2020 to two in the latest survey. A county scores a zero when it fails to publish any budget document.

Kirinyaga emerged as the most improved county by scoring 59 points, which was an improvement from a score of zero in the 2020 survey.

Lead Researcher for the County Budget Transparency Survey at IBP Kenya Kipkorir Biegon noted that the overall average transparency score was 35 out of 100 points.

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However, Kenya’s counties published 42 per cent of budget documents that should be available across all counties, up from 40 per cent in the last survey.

IBP, which is known globally for running similar studies at the national level across 120 countries, indicated that Kenya remains one of the first countries where the study is being carried out at the sub-national level.

Other examples include South Africa and Croatia. It provides important data and lessons on how county governments can ensure their citizens have a say in consequential spending decisions that impact their ability to thrive.

"Our survey assesses whether timely and comprehensive budget information is shared with the public. Although transparency in Kenya’s county budgets remains low, we have seen an improved level of responsiveness by the county governments in providing budget documents to the public,” said Dr. Abraham Rugo, Country Manager at IBP Kenya.

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The Constitution of Kenya and the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act require each of the 47 counties in Kenya to publish and publicize budget documents throughout the budget cycle.

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