Government suspends non-essential travel
The Kenyan government has suspended non-essential foreign travel for government officials in a bid to cut costs.
Head of the Public Service Mr Felix K. Koskei, confirmed the move is aimed at scaling down on spending while focusing on critical operations and activities that are essential to service delivery.
The move will affect six categories, including benchmarking and study visits, training and related capacity-building initiatives, research, academic meetings and symposia, conferences and meetings of general participation, side events, showcase events and exhibitions, and caucus and association meetings and events.
Also, Koskei said the sponsored events which often attract the need for supplementation in terms of quarter per diem and ticket upgrades are similarly suspended, except where the invitee expressly waives the anticipated top-up amount.
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“Public entities that are scheduled to travel and attend any pipeline events in the above categories are required to request for virtual participation where available, and in the alternative, engage the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs to secure onsite participation of diplomatic officials in the country of reference,” Koskei said.
This means the government will only facilitate two trips abroad for engagements where part of the fulfillment of state obligations, and pursuant to the conduct of critical state party engagements is and for the purpose of fulfilling a statutory leadership or membership role, in which critical decisions impacting on the country’s position are under consideration.
For Cabinet Secretaries, a delegation headed by Cabinet Secretaries shall not exceed three persons including the Cabinet Secretary as Head of Delegation (1+2), where the Cabinet Secretary is to be accompanied, at least one (1) of the delegates shall be a technical officer specialized in the subject matter of the foreign engagement, with no security or personal assistants/logistics officers other than as exempted.
The delegations headed by Principal Secretaries, shall not exceed two persons, including the Head of Delegation (1+1), and the delegations involving both Cabinet and Principal Secretaries above shall be restricted to the three (3) person limit.
For delegations headed by Governors of County Governments, it shall not exceed three persons including the Governor as Head of Delegation.
Head of Public Service stated that all the approvals currently being granted by PSs and Chief Executive Officers for staff within their respective agencies have been suspended with immediate effect, except for leave-based travel, and formal representation of the respective Principal Secretary or Chief Executive Officer of the agency.