It should come as welcome relief that Acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani (pictured) has ordered that any Cabinet Secretary seeking to travel abroad must seek direct approval from the President.
This will definitely help in cutting wastage of public funds on trips which sometimes have no value for money. CS Yattani has also indicated that part of cutting wastage will involve trimming the number of people who will be required to travel on approved assignments. This is a step in the right direction. Granted, more money should go into development as opposed to remuneration and personal emoluments.
However, questions must be asked on how many such austerity measures have been put in place but which have never been implemented. In fact, some measures have been briefly implemented up to the time Kenyans ‘forget’ then its back to business as usual. Cutting wastage should not be a public relations gimmick. We urge the National Treasury to followed through these directives to ensure they achieve intended purposes.
It should worry us that a noble government directive on official cars that came into effect when President Uhuru Kenyatta was Finance minister has long been forgotten. It required senior government officials to ditch fuel guzzlers and use economy VW Passats.
While at it, let the Treasury also remember that some domestic travel also need to be audited as some are of no use to at all. The size of delegations to these meetings should also be restricted. The ongoing Senate mashinani meetings will be a good starting point.
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