On Thursday, September 26, the government through a statement by acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ukur Yatani suspended all foreign bench-marking trips by government officials in a fresh bid to cut the spending.
The move by Yatani comes after the Controller of Budget flagged a spending spree in the national government in contravention to the austerity directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
This move affects the Judiciary, Parliament, independent offices and commissions to free more money for development. Yatani also limited the number of people accompanying a Cabinet Secretary on a foreign trip to three.
Acting Treasury CS Ukur Yatani directed public officers to use foreign missions and embassies to transact government business.
The CS advised ministries, state departments and agencies to utilize technology and transact business through teleconferencing. He further advised public officers to use foreign missions and embassies to transact government business.
All accounts will be limited to flying economy class for domestic air travel and not the usual business class.
Official training will be conducted at the Kenya School of Government and other government training institutions except those that can’t be conducted locally.
Principal Secretaries will have to cut airtime cost to 30% and use internet calls and only cheaper options to cut down spending.
In addition The Government Vehicle Check Unit has been asked to impound vehicles used outside official working hours without the necessary authority.
This decision was arrived at after several instances of abuse, where government vehicles have been spotted on roads past official working hours as well as weekends carrying officers out of official duty.
“No officer should use a government vehicle outside the official working hours unless authorized by an accounting officer in writing,” the CS directed.
Controller of Budget’s data shows state offices still overspend with the Teachers Service Commission taking up Ksh240 billion of the Ksh2.3 trillion budget.