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EXPLAINER: The budget making process

Public participation is a major part of the process.


The budget-making process is a systematic and structured procedure involving multiple stakeholders such as the Executive, Parliament, and the public.

The process is guided by the 2010 Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act of 2012.

The budget preparation process is initiated by the National Treasury marking the first stage that happens between 30th August – 30th April.

The National Treasury issues the budget circular to government ministries, departments, and agencies, outlining guidelines, timelines, policy priorities, and expenditure ceilings for the preparation of budget estimates.

Sector Working Groups, comprising representatives from ministries, departments, and agencies, are formed to review sectoral policies and projects, ensuring budget proposals align with national priorities.

The National Treasury prepares a Draft Budget Policy Statement outlining the government’s fiscal policy, priorities, and budget framework for the coming financial year that is submitted to Parliament by 15th of February.

Ministries, departments, and agencies justify their funding requests before the National Assembly and engage the public to gather input and feedback on budget proposals.

Then they submit their budget proposals to the National Treasury for consolidation.

The second stage is Allocation & Approval, which happens between 1st May – 30th June.

During this period The National Treasury prepares a final Draft Budget Policy Statement which is reviewed by the National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee after input from ministries, departments, and agencies and the public.

The final budget estimates are detailed in the Budget Statement. The Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury presents the Budget Policy Statement on the second Thursday of June.

This is followed by Parliamentary Debate and Approval where the national assembly debates the Budget Statement and the accompanying Appropriation Bill which authorises the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund for specific purposes.