Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kenyans urged to participate in councils' Budget Day

Local Authorities will hold Budget Day on Thursday, which is meant to increase the transparency and accountability of the councils.

Local Government minister Musalia Mudavadi says the day, marked on the last Thursday of June since 2007, gives an opportunity to residents to hold their elected representatives to account and to monitor the implementation of programmes and budgets.

“In previous years, these events have been generally successful, well attended and welcomed as an opportunity for the local residents and stakeholders to participate in the monitoring of the performance of the Council and to query the composition of the budget for the year ahead,” the minister said in a statement ahead of the event.

“Local Authority Budget Days are open events in which residents, the business community, civil society, and other local stakeholders are entitled to participate. Women, youth and the disadvantaged are particularly encouraged to attend.”

Review performance

Mr Mudavadi is expected to be the chief guest during the City Council of Nairobi Budget Day Thursday.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee is to present a review of the Council’s performance in implementing its budget for the current year including the completion of projects and will present the budget for the year ending June 30, 2011.

Participants are entitled to question the councillors and staff on their performance over the previous year and on the contents of the coming year’s budget. Copies of the budget documents will be distributed during the meeting and will be available, beforehand, on request.

Mr Mudavadi asked local authorities with geographically large jurisdictions to make arrangements, among other methods, to hold additional meetings in appropriate centres to ensure maximum participation.

The Budget Day, he added, should be seen as complementary to processes through which the local stakeholders participate in the Local Authority planning and budget preparation process.

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