The government is proposing to introduce credit cards for public officials who will be on either local or foreign travel in an effort to cut on the government expenditure.
While reading the 2019/2020 Budget, Treasury CS Henry Rotich noted that government officials have been using much of the taxpayers’ money traveling both locally and abroad, in the process increasing the wage bill.
He explained that the government is in the process of introducing smart cards for all government officials to use with expenses monitored for cost-cutting measures.
“Expenditure on domestic and foreign travel has been growing due to frequent travels. To limit this expenditure, we are exploring the use of more efficient cost-cutting approach including the use of electronic card system for all public officers traveling within and outside the country,” said the CS.
Government officials have in the recent past been blamed for misusing public funds on travels inside and outside the country that did not have a direct impact on the nation in terms of profitability.
The government now says that it is embarking on aggressive cost-cutting measures to reduce spending which will include restricting staff hiring and bring to a halt all new projects.
It is a common practice for State officials to travel out of the country with huge delegations in tow, where the intention of most of the civil servants has been to pocket hefty allowances in per diem at the expense of the taxpayer.
In 2018, the taxpayers spent 27 billion shillings during the financial year on foreign trips of state officials, up from 24.9 billion shillings the previous financial year, for both the national and county governments.
During the same financial year, travel spending by counties increased by 55 percent to 12.1 billion shillings from June 2014, while that of the central government had risen by 66 percent to 15.5 billion shillings.
The government moved to introduce new rules where accounting officers (PSs and CEOs) were to be responsible for compliance with necessary administrative and financial controls, while CSs are required to do monthly reports showing the number of trips by officers under them.