In Summary
  • Justice Okwany ruling made it mandatory for Treasury to present both the budget estimates and Finance Bill to Parliament.

  • Though there was ample time for the Treasury to propose amendments to the PFM Act to comply with the court ruling, it failed to do so.

  • Interestingly, the Treasury never appealed, meaning the ruling is now part of the law.

  • On Thursday, Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu admitted that the budget-making process failed to comply with the court ruling.

The legality of the 2019/20 budget-making process may come to haunt the National Treasury after it emerged that it failed to comply with a High Court ruling of 2018.

The ruling by Justice Winfrida Okwany on September 19, 2018,made it mandatory that Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) must present both the budget estimates and Finance Bill to the National Assembly.

PETITION

However, when National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr Henry Rotich presented the Sh2.81trillion budget estimates in April this year, there was no Finance Bill.

The estimates would later be varied by the National Assembly Committee on Budget and Appropriations to Sh3.02 trillion.

The Public Finance Management(PFM) Act, which guides the current budget-making regime, provides that the estimates must be presented at least two months before the end of every financial year.

Justice Okwany ruled that the Finance Bill, which gives the government the legal force to collect taxes to finance its budget, must be enacted before the budget highlights and the revenue collection measures presented to the National Assembly.

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