- The latest report from the Comptroller of the Budget (CoB) shows that senior officials spent Sh13.85 billion on their travel, training and per diem, domestic and foreign, a 27 percent drop from Sh19.06 billion.
- Travel restrictions led to a work shift from home, denying top officials benefits.
Taxpayers saved Sh5.21 billion in the nine months through March on travel, training and per diem for top state officials, thanks to restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The latest report from the Budget Comptroller (CoB) shows that senior officials spent Sh13.85 billion on their travel, training, and domestic and foreign per diem, a 27 percent drop from the Sh19.06 billion spent in the corresponding period. previous. year.
Travel restrictions led to a work shift from home, denying top officials benefits.
They included a ban on social gatherings, circulation in five counties, including Mombasa and Nairobi, where most of the trainings take place in high-end hotels, and a five-month ban on international and local flights.
“Some budget lines saw low levels of spending, which was attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 mitigation measures taken by the government to slow the spread of the disease,” said Margaret Nyakango, CoB.
“Those affected were travel, training and hospitality activities, which are some of the main budget items for the MDAs (ministries, departments and agencies”).
Data shows that overseas travel spending recorded the biggest drop (Sh2.76 billion) to Sh1.51 billion in the period under review, followed by hospitality which fell by Sh1.51 billion to Sh3 billion.
Domestic travel and training allowances registered marginal declines, each of which was reduced by less than 200 million shillings from the similar period in the previous year.
In March last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta banned non-essential foreign travel for all state officials. The directive required that all senior officials obtain mandatory travel authorization from the Chief of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua.
Instead, the head of state ordered ambassadors and high commissioners abroad to represent the government in engagements within their respective jurisdictions.
Over the years, taxpayers have spent billions of shillings on airline tickets and per diem for state officials, especially those traveling to expensive destinations in the US and expensive European cities such as London, Paris and Geneva.