Governor Anne Waiguru’s county has been ranked as the least transparent counties on matters of public budgets for the financial year 2019-2020.
Though never convicted, the county boss has been implicated in several corruption allegations since she was in Uhuru’s cabinet and most recently was impeached by her MCAs over similar allegations.
According to a survey released by the International Budget Partnership Kenya (IBP Kenya) on Friday, May 7, Kirinyaga was among the five counties with opaque budgets.
“Kirinyaga, Narok, Taita Taveta and Wajir were ranked counties with the opaquest budgets, all scoring zero out of possible 100 points,” the survey said.
On the other hand, West Pokot and Laikipia counties emerged as the counties with the most transparent budgets scoring 73 and 71 points out of 100 respectively.
Nyeri, Makueni and Samburu counties locked up the remaining three slots in the top five counties with the most open budgets with 71,70 and 64 points respectively.
The County Budget Transparency Survey 2020 highlights performance of each individual county and a performance index that ranks counties from the most to the least transparent on matters on public budgets.
While making the presentation, Kipkorir Biegon, Lead Researcher at IBP, noted that the average transparency score across the 47 counties was 33 out of 100 points.
The organization which is known globally for running similar studies at the national level across over 115 countries, indicated that Kenya is one of the first countries where the study is being carried out at the sub-national level.
This provides important data and lessons on how county governments can ensure their citizens have better access to budget information.
“At IBP Kenya, we have been conducting the County Budget Transparency Survey since 2015 and the survey focuses on the online availability of key budget documents that should be published and publicized according to the PFM Act,”
“However, in 2020, we expanded the survey to evaluate the comprehensiveness of the information provided in the budget documents that counties avail to the public,” said Dr. Abraham Rugo, Country Manager at IBP Kenya.