Kenya suspends foreign trips for public officers to cut costs

The Kenyan government on Wednesday suspended national and county officials' local and foreign travels following a concern over high spending on such travels.


National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said there were restrictions on foreign travel and the size of official delegations going abroad, which he said must be kept to an absolute minimum.


“All benchmarking and study tours for national and county government officials have been suspended with immediate effect,” Rotich said, noting that tough guidelines for foreign travel have been published as part of new wide-ranging measures to plug resource leakages.

The secretary who was presiding over the opening of the 2016/2017 National Budget’s public sector hearings said the austerity measures have also scrapped the buying of flowers for state offices and printing of celebratory cards during festive holidays, among others.

He said spending on breakfast meetings, office furniture, printing and adverts will also be cut in the 2016/2017 budgetary allocation.

The drastic cut comes after concerns were raised over heavy spending by National & County government officials on foreign tours.

The East African nation is bearing the brunt of high wastage coupled with poor cash management that is piling pressure on the National Treasury, which is turning to the debt market and leading to borrowing interest rates shooting through the roof.

Rotich said the move is part of government’s measures to contain non-priority and unproductive expenditure, while shifting savings to capital spending and maintaining a sustainable debt level.

“The government is committed to reducing the cost of doing business and improving the competitiveness of enterprises in Kenya. Also, the desired growth we expect will have to be largely produced by the private sector,” he said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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