Accountants are in the habit of looking at, and pondering over, numbers. At the time of the budget each year, one will find many publications by the larger audit firms that deal with the many aspects that are typically dealt with in the Government Budget. But we seldom get to look at the numbers in detail. One finds the numbers in the various publications prepared by the Treasury. When you examine them, you find that articles 220 to 224 of the 2010 Revised Edition of the Constitution deal with the budget; in addition, other articles deal with the various financial matters of the national and county governments. Article 220, sub-article 1, stipulates that “Budgets of the national and county governments must contain—(a) estimates of revenue and expenditure, differentiating between recurrent and development expenditure; (b) proposals for financing any anticipated deficit for the period to which they apply; and (c) proposals regarding borrowing and other forms of public liability that will increase public debt during the following year.
Article 221 requires “At least two months before the end of each financial year (that is by 30th April each year), the Cabinet Secretary responsible for finance must submit to the National Assembly (Parliament but this does not include the Senate) estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the national government for the next financial year to be tabled in the National Assembly. The estimates mentioned must––(a) include estimates for expenditure from the Equalisation Fund; and (b) be in the form, and according to the procedure, prescribed by an Act of Parliament.
Find out ‘the real figures’ on our cover story. In the economy segment, our writer discusses, freezing employment in the public service. He says the government of Kenya decided to freeze employment in the public service; a decision that is still in force several years later and, a lot of debate has ensued since the decision was taken. The freeze was informed by the ballooning wage bill in the public service.
The sectors that were spared the freeze are security agencies, health and education. Any other organization that has a justifiable reason to increase its workforce has to seek approval from the National Treasury. In his own considered opinion this is a well thought strategy. He points out that, when you give agencies an open cheque in employment they will employ all manner of officers and justify. The only major downside however, is that fresh graduates looking for employment opportunities will not get them; at least not in the public service.