Roads, health, education face deeper budget checks
Projects in the big-budget infrastructure, education, and health sectors will be subject to special evaluation as the Treasury moved to block wastage amid austerity measures.
The Treasury said a gap in the evaluation of project selection and implementation in the three big-spending sectors exposed taxpayer cash to wastage whenever projects stalled or failed to reach a financial close.
“The main purpose of this consultancy is to develop sector-specific analytical methodologies, tools, and techniques for the roads infrastructure, health, and education sectors in Kenya. The methodologies developed must be oriented to the specific sectors to allow for a nuanced economic appraisal of these specific sectors” said the Treasury in a call for consultants to develop special evaluation tools for projects in the three sectors.
Roads infrastructure, health, and education sectors account for a huge portion of the national budget.
For example, in the current 2022/23 financial year the three sectors have been allocated a joint Sh1.07 trillion with education getting the bulk Sh544.51billion, infrastructure and energy (Sh407.726billion), and healthcare (Sh122.51billion).
The government is keen on curbing wastage amid strained budgets. Spending on projects dropped by 22 per cent in the five months to November as President William Ruto closed the taps of cash on some of the projects that had been prioritised by his predecessor in this year’s budget.
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows development expenditure fell by Sh42.88 billion to Sh148.96 billion during the first five months of the financial year 2022/23 compared to a spend of Sh191.84 billion during the previous fiscal year.
The spending is also Sh26 billion less than what the government had expected to use to finance development projects by end of November indicating a shift of spending priorities by the Kenya Kwanza government.
The Treasury, in the draft 2023 Budget Policy Statement (BPS) attributed this underspending to reduced disbursements for the projects. “Total expenditure and net lending for the period ending November 2022 was Sh1.096 trillion, which was below the projected amount of Sh1.183 trillion by Sh87.1 billion. Recurrent spending amounted to Sh825.6 billion, development expenditure was Sh149 billion while transfer to county governments was Sh122.1 billion,” said the BPS.
President Ruto last year indicated he would shelve funding to the tune of Sh182 billion to non-priority projects that were allocated these monies in this year’s budget by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.