Key Legislations that Support Citizen Involvement in County Planning and Budgeting
Besides the Constitution, there are other laws that passed by parliament to guide the county planning and budgeting process. Here are some of the critical legislation that you need to be aware of:
- County Government Act, 2012
This Act requires County governments to come up with plans to guide their operations. Such plans include the CIDP, spatial plans, sectoral plans and cities and urban areas plans. The plans form the footing for all the county’s budgeting and spending. The County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Planning is expected to develop a framework for the spending of public funds to avoid misappropriation.
The planning unit is expected to coordinate integrated development planning within the county. In Section 103 (b), this Act stipulates that the ‘development of a system that is well balanced shall be facilitated by county planning’ to ensure that scarce land, water, and other resources are used productively for economic, social, ecological and other functions. Meaningful engagement of citizens in the planning process is laid out in Section 105(d) of the County Government Act while Section 115 of the Act provides for public participation in county planning.
- Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2012
This Act stipulates that integrated development planning, including long-term and medium-term, as well as financial and economic priorities should constitute the county budget process. According to Section 126 of the Act, county governments should prepare an integrated development plan (CIDP) that includes strategic priorities for the medium term. The CIDP should reflect, among others, county priorities and plans, a description of how those priorities respond to the economic and environmental changes in the county and the programmes to be delivered over a five year period. County governments are also expected to prepare development plans and budgets based on projects proposed in the plan.
- Urban Areas and Cities Act
The Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2012 emphasizes the need for five year integrated development planning by county governments as well as the importance of aligning county annual budgeting to such a plan.
In Section 36 (2), the Act states that “an integrated urban or city development plan shall bind, guide, and inform all planning development and decisions and ensure comprehensive inclusion of all functions.” One of the conditions for an area to qualify as a city, municipality or town is that it must have institutionalized active participation of its residents in the management of its affairs.
- Intergovernmental Relations Act
This Act provides for the establishment of a consultation and coordination structure between the national and county governments. This Act creates the National and County Government Coordinating Summit which is the main body tasked with the responsibility of facilitating intergovernmental relations. The Summit brings together the President and Governors from all the 47 counties. Among the principles guiding intergovernmental relations is the promotion of accountability to the people in decision making and actions, and inclusive as well as participatory governance. The Act establishes the Council of County Governors that comprises Governors from all 47 counties. This Council provides a forum for, among other things, consultation between county governments.