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The government has banned non-essential foreign travel by public officers and cut spending on breakfast meetings, office furniture, printing and advertising to make a saving.
The trips blacklisted include benchmarking and study tours by national and county government officials.


It further directed a reduction on the size of any foreign delegation. The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich said a circular to this effect has been issued to all ministries, departments and agencies.
“We need to bear in mind that our economy is still reeling from negative impacts of global economic crisis, travel advisories which have severely affected the tourism sector, weather vagaries, terrorism threats and increased pressure on expenditure,” he said.
Mr. Rotich said the move is part of government’s measures to contain non-priority and productive expenditure, while shifting savings to capital spending and maintaining a sustainable debt level.
The Cabinet Secretary has directed the National Treasury staff not to allocate funds to projects without the necessary supporting documents, which should be aligned to the government’s strategic development objectives.
He spoke in Nairobi during the opening of a public forum on the 2016/17 budget plan. The circular also directs ministries and departments to maintain a freeze on new recruitment.
“The financial year 2016/17 budget will continue to intensify restructuring of public expenditure towards development and social programmes,” said Mr. Rotich.
The National Treasury Principal Secretary Dr. Kamau Thugge said all ministries must adhere to the directive.
“Ministries are expected to implement the circular immediately,” Dr. Thugge said.
He said the government is grappling a huge recurrent expenditure including a colossal wage bill, which remains a threat to the economy. In May, the Controller of Budget Mrs. Agnes Odhiambo warned that foreign trips are fast draining the country’s coffers.
Foreign and domestic travel consumed at least Ksh.10.8 billion in the 2013/14 financial year, according to the Controller of Budget. Members of Parliament spent Kshs.3 billion.
The National Treasury further revised the economic growth to between 5.8 and 6.0 per cent, which is lower than the 6.5 to seven per cent forecast in the 2015/16 budget, citing tighter monetary policy and the potential impact of the El-Nino rains.
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