The County Governments Act, 2012 dictates that no budgeting should be done without a planning framework in place. The very first plans most counties must produce are the County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs). This document provides the development strategy a county adopts for the next five years. Although no specific date is provided for publishing these plans, each county must develop one at the start of each cycle every five years.
The Public Finance Management (PFM) Act sets the Annual Development Plan (ADP) as the main plan to anchor county annual budgets. In a sense, the ADP is the single year extract from the CIDP allowing for updates responding to current emerging issues in the economy.
The County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP) sets out the total size of the budget, the sector ceilings (e.g., how much for education versus health), and identifies key priorities to be funded in a particular year. It should be published and publicized within one week of tabling in the county assembly (within one week of 28 February)
The budget proposal from the county executive is the culmination of all the other documents and is the place where program and item level decisions in each county department are made and that must be reviewed by the public and assembly before approval. The Budget Estimates should be published and publicized within one week of 30.