|Publisher||The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA)|
|Year of Publication|
|Category||Papers and Articles Policies and Guidelines|
|Description||The Kenyan Public Finance Management Act 2012 requires all counties to table a County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP) in their respective county assemblies by 28 February each year. In 2014, most counties tabled this paper for the first time, since counties only came into being from March of 2013, too late to prepare the papers for the 2013/14 budget cycle.
The CFSP may sound like a technical document but in many ways it is actually a simple requirement that specifies the strategic priorities and policy goals that guides the county government in preparing its budget. The Paper should have at least four core elements:
1. A description of budget implementation for the first half of the year (July to December), including revenue and expenditure performance.
2. A description of any changes to the budget during the year, such as the introduction of a supplementary budget.
3. An overview of the expected revenue and expenditure totals for the coming year, based on an assessment of the economy and any other factors, such as changes in national transfers, which will affect the county.
4. Ceilings (or limits) on the amount of money each sector (health, education, etc.) will get in the upcoming budget and narrative explaining these.
The fourth element is really the core purpose of the paper: The CFSP is the moment in the budget process when we trade-off between our priorities at sector level. Do we want to spend more on agriculture or roads? More on health or education? Once that has been agreed, the budget that is tabled by 30 April in the assembly is then debated at the level of the priorities within each sector: do we want to spend more on staff or hospitals? Do we want to spend more on pre-primary education or polytechnics?
As county assemblies begin to review their county budgets, this is the moment to ensure that there is a clear link between the CFSP and the county budget. This will present a challenge if the CFSP lacks key information. We hope that this tool will help assembly members and the public to better understand the flow of the budget process, and what information they should be demanding in order to be able to properly review the county budget proposal.