Kenya’s ease of restriction on social gatherings and domestic flights resulted in a rise in civil servants’ spending on local travels in the first half of the fiscal year
Data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows the officials spent Ksh.5.97 billion on local trips in the 6 months ended December from Ksh.4.89 billion in a similar period a year earlier.
According to Business Daily, this is the highest amount that civil servants have spent on local trips since 2013, highlighting the increasing pressure on the Government to free cash for critical expenditure like development projects.
The only time since 2013 that spending on such local trips came close was in December 2019 when they splashed Ksh.5.6 billion.
Members of Parliament accounted for the highest share of the Ksh.5.97 billion after they spent Ksh.1.96 billion, followed by the Interior ministry at Ksh.761 million and the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) at Ksh.651.5 million.
As the country edges close to August 9, 2022 election, MPs have embarked on early campaigns while other civil officials have increased travel locally mainly for training after easing the restrictions in July last year.
Government employees are entitled to daily expense allowances whenever they travel locally for assignments, including training and seminars.
The Treasury has been pushing to cut non-essential travel locally and abroad to free up cash for development.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has in the past three years maintained that all non-core expenditure will be reviewed to ensure the Government can make savings and fund its programmes without relying too much on debt.
Items that have been identified for cuts include local and domestic trips, training and maintenance of cars as the economy grapples with near stagnant revenue collections and increasing debt repayment obligations.