State officials will have to use internet calls and forgo all benchmarking trips in measures announced by the National Treasury in fresh effort to cut non-essential spending as taxes trail targets.
Acting National Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani in a memo on Wednesday to all cabinet secretaries and accounting officers said the stringent measures aimed at improving spending discipline among State officers would be extended to counties.
The measures include budget cuts on travel, entertainment, training, publicity, office rent and car fuel bills, which cost taxpayers Sh46.6 billion in the year to June 2019, up 54.2 per cent from Sh30.2 billion in the previous financial year. It was at Sh17.8 billion in 2013
Mr Yatani said the move would help contain expenditure pressures and already high level of borrowing given the under-performance of tax revenue.
“The expenditure control measures outlined in this circular are aimed at enhancing prudent financial management by ensuring that we live within our means, create savings for the much needed service delivery and foster fiscal responsibility ,” read Mr Yatani’s memo in part.
He has directed that the budget for buying newspapers be cut to one quarter of the current budget and airtime given to staff be trimmed by 30 per cent to encourage use of cheaper internet calls.
Ministries have also been directed to stop using newspapers to market their activities but instead use their websites
Purchasing of office furniture will also be trimmed by 75 per cent for the next three years.
Mr Yatani has further directed that all government-sponsored trainings be conducted locally and delegation for foreign travel led by cabinet secretaries be capped at four people.
All domestic air travel will now be on economy class while all benchmarking and study tours have been suspended until further notice. Officers using public vehicles for own trips especially over the weekend also face penalties.
“It is reiterated that any officer receiving commuter allowance and continues to use government transport outside official working hours is liable for surcharge,” said Mr Yatani.
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