The most effective way any government can find out if it’s moving in the right direction – that is determine if every-day activities contribute to the established long-term priorities – is by continuously tracking and monitoring the impact of its activities. At its service delivery points – such as a health facility, a livestock market or a vocational center – government staff need to collect data that “monitors” the progress made against specific key performance indicators (KPIs) for the sector. The progress on the KPIs define the effectiveness of the programmes and strategies that sectors adopt to achieve long-term goals. The same programmes and KPIs appear in sector plans, CIDP, budgets and work plans, simply adjusting the targets to what is realistically achievable in the given timeframe, see example below:
Those in charge of each service delivery point, the department directors and chief officers, the Executive Committee, the Assembly, sector stakeholders and citizens at large need to know if public resources (personnel, equipment and funds) are being used effectively.
Departments set up M&E systems that track continuously, and/or periodically, progress on the performance indicators set in their sector plans, CIDP and budgets. For each indicator, the M&E system specifies data sources, frequency of data collection, and assigns responsibilities for collection and processing.
Annual targets set in the Budget and work plans – both financial and non-financial – are broken down into quarterly increments. Every three months, departments prepare financial and non-financial reports to assess their actual progress against these targets. These reports are due within 15 days of the end of each quarter. Consolidated county reports are submitted to County Assembly and Controller of Budget within one month of the end of each quarter.
Prepared in January to inform programme and sector ceilings to be approved in the CFSP, these reports give the medium-term perspective of the sector. They combine the annual reports from previous 3 years with the 3-year forward projections for each programme. They (might) bring together several departments to advocate for the optimal allocation of resources for the sector to inform the budget process.
Departments in the County Executive are – with the support of County Finance and Economic Planning - expected to prepare annual financial and non-financial reports within three months of the end of the financial year for submission to the Auditor General. Consolidated county reports are submitted to County Assembly, Auditor General and Controller of Budget within four months of the end of the financial year.
Monitoring and Reporting Process
Departments in the County Executive, with the support of the County Finance and Economic Planning, are responsible for preparation of their own M&E plans and process reports, as well as quarterly and annual financial and non-financial reports. County Finance and Economic Planning is responsible for consolidating the quarterly and annual financial reports for submission to the County Assembly, Controller of Budget and (only for annual reports) the Auditor General. The County Executive is expected to publicize and make these reports available to the general public.
The County Assembly receives quarterly and annual reports from the County Executive. These reports are critical in enabling the oversight function of the County Assembly, which will use them to assess county executive performance during the year. The Assembly can request additional reports to clarify any issues arising from such performance. Reports are also be used to guide and inform the review and approval of plans and budgets presented by the County Executive.
As with the County Assembly, the citizen’s role is centres around assessing actual performance against plans and budgets. These reports will also provide useful insights to guide citizens’ inputs to plans and budgets.
- Sector Working Groups (SWGs) allow constant interaction between technical departments and sector stakeholders on reporting matters (preparation and review).
- Controller of Budget uses county reports as inputs to its own quarterly consolidated county budget implementation review report. These reports will also inform decisions on future exchequer requests by counties
- Auditor-General uses the annual financial statement as the basis for annual financial and compliance audit. Non-financial reports may also be used, as needed, in the conduct of performance and other special audits.
- CSOs can use government reports as a reference when undertaking social audits and or other social accountability mechanisms.