Protect Controller of Budget’s watchdog role


Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o. FILE PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

The unfortunate tussle between the Controller of Budget (CoB) and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) over real-time access to county bank accounts shows that Kenya still has some way to go before full transparency in public finance management can be achieved.

Counties have been on the spot over the past decade about opaque payments and poor record keeping that have allowed crooked officials to siphon billions in public funds under their care.

This is why any efforts by the CoB to improve oversight of county accounts must be lauded and supported.

Now that access has been granted to view the accounts, the public expects that the COB's office will be proactive in pointing out and stopping wanton wastage of county funds through fictitious payment claims and irresponsible borrowing from private lenders, among other financial malpractices.

At the same time, the Senate ought to protect this oversight function by making it clear in law that the CoB has the right to view the accounts.

This will prevent a recurrence of the fight with the CBK over the matter.