In Summary

  • The Parliamentary Service Commission, an independent body that manages salaries and other remuneration perks for MPs, usually records the highest expenditure on domestic travel.
  • Data from the Controller of Budget shows that spending on foreign travel rose to Sh3.5 billion in the six months to December, up from Sh1.5 billion in the same period last year—representing a more than double growth.

The Treasury sought an additional Sh1 billion for foreign travel and entertainment through the second mini-budget tabled in Parliament despite a government directive requiring deep cuts on non-essential budget items like trips.

Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) says in a report that an additional Sh55 million was voted for foreign travel and Sh472 million for hospitality across ministries, just days to the end of the financial year on June 30.

This comes amid an earlier Treasury circular to accounting officers in all ministries asking them to cut non-essential budget items like travel, motor vehicle maintenance and conferencing to the bare minimum in an effort to plug holes caused by revenue shortfalls.

“This goes against the directive the National Treasury issued last year stating that austerity measures should be applied to the items mentioned above,” BAC noted in its report on the second supplementary budget tabled in Parliament.

IGNORED

Previous announcements of expenditure cuts by the government have not yielded much, having been largely ignored by officials.

Besides, the Cabinet secretary has little control over spending by county governments, which have been the most notorious for trips that cost taxpayers millions of shillings.

The Parliamentary Service Commission, an independent body that manages salaries and other remuneration perks for MPs, usually records the highest expenditure on domestic travel.

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