Two New Pieces of Legislation Pave Way for More Assertive Kenyan Parliament
SUNY/CID NEWS STORIES 2009
In Kenya, the executive branch has historically had the final say in matters of budgeting and national fiscal policy. But that is changing. Over the past few years, significant strides have been made in Kenya for codifying a greater, more effective parliamentary role in budgeting and overall financial scrutiny. New Standing Orders adopted in 2009 by the Kenyan National Assembly detail this broadened position in relation to the executive. Under the new Standing Orders, legislative oversight of the budget process is dramatically strengthened.
A Fiscal Management Bill, passed in May 2009, further expands parliamentary budget oversight authority. Drafted in 2008, this bill not only expands involvement of the legislature in budget formulation, but also safeguards the independence of the nascent parliamentary budget office. The budget office was created in 2007, with support from the SUNY/CID Legislative Strengthening Program, and has since become an indispensable source of independent, objective fiscal research for Kenyan legislators.
Both the new Standing Orders and Fiscal Management Bill took significant effort and time to be approved, and required numerous revisions and compromises to gain presidential assent. Now codified, they represent the legal underpinnings of the increasingly assertive role of the Kenyan National Assembly in fiscal policy.