Nairobi News


Broke Jubilee govt orders civil servants to make WhatsApp calls

By Hilary Kimuyu September 26th, 2019 2 min read

Acting National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani has announced “brutal” measures to cut on government expenditures.

In the new guidelines, government officials have been encouraged to be making calls using the internet in order to save money. They are also expected to restrict the use of use the government vehicles to official working hours only.

In a circular to all Cabinet Secretaries and accounting officers, Treasury acting Cabinet Secretary Amb Ukur Yatani has given the guidelines on expenditure to enhance expenditure control and fiscal discipline in management of public resources.

“The guidelines apply to all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the National Government, Judiciary, Parliament, Independent Officers and Commissions,” Yatani’s circular read in part.

The CS said this was necessitated by the need to enhance requirements for the “Big Four” Plan, emerging expenditure pressures, the under performance of revenue and the already high level of borrowing, “it is inevitable that public spending is tightened.”

Treasury directed accounting officers to undertake with immediate effect the following measures:

1. Training – All training, except highly specialized courses, will be conducted in the country.

2. Newspapers – The newspapers given to staff should be rationalized to restrict the spending.

3. Foreign travel and air travel – Minimized number of delegations for foreign travel; staff encouraged to utilize technology. Only four people will be allowed to travel with a C, while PS will be accompanied by three people.

4. Communication and airtime allowances – Staff encouraged to internet calls and other cheaper options. This are a few options for the civil servants to use to make calls. Google Voice, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, NobelApp, imo, and Viber.

5. Publicity and advertisement – There will be no more newspaper supplements to publicize strategic plans and have been ordered to use the Ministry website.

6. Acquisition of motor vehicles – Only selected senior officers will be allowed to use government vehicles.

7. Renting and partitioning of offices – Before renting, MDAs should first exhaust occupation/lease of office space in government buildings before acquiring space from the market.

8. Purchase of furniture – All purchase of furniture should be reduced by 75 percent for the next 3 years and it should be restricted to locally manufactured products.

9. Use of government vehicles – No more weekend rides with government vehicles. No officer should use the government transport outside official working hours unless authorized by the accounting officer in writing. Treasury also wants accounting officers to restrict the use of civilian number plates on GoK vehicles.