The budget process under the new constitution is a comprehensive process that begins from August of the current financial year to December of the coming financial year.
Below are the key dates for the budget process in Kenya
1st Quarter (July to September)
August 30: This date marks the beginning of the budget process in Kenya. On this date, the National Treasury and the County Treasury issue circulars to their respective ministries, departments and agencies outlining the guidelines for the budget process for the coming financial year and the procedures to be followed to involve the public in the budget process (public participation). The circulars should also be made available to the public.
September 1: On this day, the County Planning Departments should table the Annual Development Plans (ADPs) in their respective Assemblies. These ADPs should then be publicized within seven days from the day they are tabled before the respective Assemblies to allow the public to give their input. The National government does not produce an Annual Development Plan because it anchors its plans on the Vision 2030 Development blueprint.
September 1 to February 15: The National Treasury and the County Treasuries should conduct sector hearings where they should involve the public and other stakeholders in the preparation of the National Budget Policy Statement and the County Fiscal Strategy Paper respectively.
September 30: The National Treasury and the County Treasuries should produce their respective Budget Review and Outlook Papers by this date.
30th September: This is the deadline for the national assembly and the county assembly to consider and approve the Finance Bill for the current financial year with or without amendments.
December 31: Kenya National Audit Office (KENAO) releases the audit reports for both the national and the county governments for the previous financial year ending June 31st.
2nd Quarter (October-December)
October 21: the National Budget Review and Outlook Paper should be tabled at the National Assembly for discussion. Consequently, the County Budget review and Outlook Paper should be tabled at the County Assemblies.
October 31: The County governments publish their first quarter budget implementation report for the period of 1st July-31st September.
November 15: The National Government publishes its first quarter budget implementation for the period of 1st July to September 31st.
3rd Quarter (January-March)
January 1: The Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) should submit its recommendations on the division of revenue between the national and the county governments to the National Treasury by this date.
January 31: County governments publish their 2nd quarter budget implementation report for the period 1st October to 31st December.
February 15: The national government publishes its 2nd quarter budget implementation report for the period of 1st October to 31st December.
February 15: The National Treasury submits four crucial documents to parliament. These are the National Budget Policy Statement (BPS), medium-term Debt Management Strategy paper, The Division of Revenue Bill (DoRB) and the County Allocation of Revenue Bill (CARB).
February 28: The Budget Policy Statement (BPS) is approved by parliament. The County Treasury also tables its County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP) before the County Assembly by this date. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance should submit the statement on the Debt Management Strategy to the Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council, publish, and publicize the statement.
March 1: This is the deadline for the National Treasury to publish and publicize the Budget Policy Statement after it is submitted before parliament.
March 7: The deadline for the County Treasury to publish and publicize the Fiscal Strategy Paper after it is submitted to the County Assembly.
14 March: The County Assemblies are supposed to approve the County Fiscal Strategy Paper by this date.
March 15: This is the deadline for Parliament to consider the Division of Revenue and County Allocation of Revenue Bills and approve them with or without amendments.
4th Quarter (April to June)
April 30: Counties publish their third quarter budget implementation reports for the period 1st January to 30th March.
April 30: The National Treasury submits the national budget proposal (or estimates) before Parliament. The Judiciary and the Parliamentary Service Commission also submit their own independent budgets (separation of powers) before parliament. The County Treasury should also submit the county budget proposal (or estimates) to the County Assembly on this date. Each county assembly clerk shall prepare and submit to the county assembly the budget estimates for the county assembly and a copy shall be submitted to the County Executive Committee member for finance.
May 1 to June 30: Many of the activities that take place during this period have no specific timelines or deadlines.
- The Budget Committees for both the National and the County governments will begin to conduct public hearings on the budget proposals/estimates.
- The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the County Executive Member for Finance should publicize the national and county budget estimates ‘as soon as practicable’ after they table them before the national and county assembly respectively.
- The national assembly and the county assembly shall consider the national and the county government budget estimates respectively with a view to approving them, with or without amendments, in time for the Appropriation Bill and any other laws required to implement the budget (except the Finance Bill) to be passed by the 30th June in each year.
- Not later than twenty-one days after the national and the county assembly have approved the budget estimates, the National and the County Treasury shall consolidate the estimates, publish, and publicize them respectively.
- Upon approval of the budget estimates by the National Assembly and the County Assembly, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the County Executive Member for Finance shall prepare and submit an Appropriation Bill of the approved estimates to the National Assembly and the County Assembly respectively.
May 15: The national government publishes its 3rd quarter budget implementation report for the period 1st January to March 31st.
June 30: This is the deadline for parliament and county assembly to pass their Appropriation Bills.
From June 30th, you should again expect the Finance Bill and the KENAO audit reports to seal the whole process frm August of the previous year. Despite that, a new budget cycle will begin in August and it goes on.
See the second part of this article: Key Documents Essential to the Budget Process in Kenya
(Information compiled from the PFM Act. Additional information obtained from documents by IBP and TI.)