PesaCheck has launched in Kenya to fix the anomalies in Kenya’s public finances and budget which go unnoticed by public officials, civil society and even the media.
A product of Code for Kenya and the International Budget Partnership – Kenya (IBP-K) , PesaCheck main objective is to test the statistical accuracy and relevance of budgetary allocations in all public interest projects in Kenya.
“Public officials, civil society and even the media, sometimes deal casually with budget numbers and public finance in a way that leaves the public confused. With PesaCheck, we want to fix that,” writes PesaCheck.
The media-focused fact-checking service aims to examine and explain to ordinary citizens budgetary and public finance issues in simple terms and figures so they understand them to make informed decisions, provide more info for media and civil society to check accuracy and anomalies in all government or public spending.
According to PesaCheck, it was inspired by the discrepancies in the reporting of the Kenyan govt budget policy statement for 2016/2017 by the media and public officials. Code for Kenya says that while the media is not wholly to blame for the poor interpretation of budgets and public finance, journalists deserve a substantial share of the blame.
“There are very few in the media who are able to analyse the data available and use it to tell a story, or to clarify for the public where the balance of truth lies,” says PesaCheck. “Few have the stamina to follow a budget story to the end, helping readers to understand it as it unfolds. Public finance and budgets are not one-off events which start with the reading of the budget and end with the auditor general’s report.”
PesaCheck, therefore, aims to help both the media and the public by fact checking budgetary and financial news.