The Office of the Controller of Budget (OCOB) has raised concerns about over-budgeting of state employee wages and undisclosed public debt arrangements within the National Treasury, shedding light on potential fiscal mismanagement and the misuse of public funds.
During a session held at the Bomas of Kenya, OCOB's Controller of Budget, Margaret Nyakango, brought attention to the alarming discrepancy in the budget allocations, citing her own salary as an example.
"The exaggeration is in the national treasury. I found out that my salary was budgeted at three times what I am paid and it was like that for all the state officers," Nyakango revealed, emphasizing the magnitude of the overestimation.
Additionally, Nyakango expressed deep concerns over the lack of transparency in public debt arrangements, stating, "I have been approving payments of public debts and I have looked at what we are paying for. Many of these things cannot be identified."
This lack of clarity regarding the nature and purpose of the debts raised red flags about potential financial mismanagement.
Moreover, Nyakango pointed out that a considerable portion of loans secured for various projects lacked direct correlation with their intended purposes.
She urged the Treasury to exercise prudence and cautioned against unnecessary expenditures, highlighting the potential vulnerability the nation might face due to uncertainties like the recent El Niño weather predictions, which demand immediate resource allocation.
The ongoing discussions at the Bomas of Kenya around addressing the pressing issue of the high cost of living, amplifying the importance of fiscal responsibility and transparent financial management in the face of economic challenges.
Nyakango's revelations call for a comprehensive review and accountability in budgeting, spending, and debt management to ensure the prudent use of public funds.
As the dialogue committee continues its discussions, the revelations made by OCOB underscore the urgency of addressing financial mismanagement and the critical need for fiscal discipline to mitigate the impact of rising living costs on the Kenyan populace.