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TSC top as State spends Sh498b on salaries

By Julius Chepkwony | October 23rd 2021

Teachers' procession to mark the celebration of the annual International Day for Teachers at KICD in Nairobi.  [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The government spent Sh498.07 billion on salaries and allowances in the 2020/21 financial year.

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o, in an audit report, noted that this represented 42.4 per cent of gross expenditure by ministries, departments and agencies.

The Teachers Service Commission recorded the highest expenditure on salaries and allowances at Sh273.41 billion, according to the National Government Budget Implementation Review Report.

The expenditure, however, excludes personal emoluments for the military and National Intelligence Service.

“The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) recorded the highest expenditure on compensation to employees at Sh273.41 billion, translating into 55.9 per cent of total expenditure on compensation to employees by the national government,” read the audit in part.

State Department for Interior and Citizen Services spent Sh127.5 billion, Ministry of Defence Sh112.44 billion, State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education Sh85.93 billion, State Department of Infrastructure Sh59.96 billion, and State Department forf University Education and Research Sh55.34 billion

The Ministry of Health, on its part, spent Sh52.13 billion, National Treasury Sh47.62 billion, National Intelligence Service Sh44.83 billion and State Department for Social Protection, Pensions & Senior Citizens Affairs Sh29.98 billion.

Dr Nyakang’o revealed that the total expenditure by the national government amounted to Sh2.59 trillion.

Development expenditure as per the audit was Sh561.49 billion and recurrent expenditure Sh1.15 trillion.

However, some budget items recorded low levels of expenditure, which was attributed to Covid-19 mitigation measures adopted by the government to curb the spread of the disease.

Further analysis of the report shows that expenditure by the government on annual recurrent expenditure has been rising.

In the financial year 2016/2017, Sh1357.3 billion was spent, in 2017/2018 Sh1544.4 billion, 2018/2019 Sh1961.4 billion, in 2019/2020 Sh1919.2 billion was spent while in the financial year 2020/2021 Sh2030.8 billion was spent.

The audit revealed that the government spent Sh14.23 billion on travelling expenditure in the financial year 2020/21. The recording was a slight decline compared to Sh14.6 billion recorded in financial year 2019/20.

About Sh11.19 billion was spent on domestic travel and Sh3.03 billion on foreign travel.

“The decline can be attributed to Covid-19 that led to travel restrictions by the government,” the report reads in part.

The Controller of Budget noted the significant growth of public debt stock over the years, which was attributed to a persistent fall in expected ordinary revenue and rising expenditures.

As of June 30, 2021, the report revealed total public debt stock stood at Sh7.71 trillion. The total debt comprised of 52.1 per cent (Sh4.01 trillion) external.

The total expenditure on public debt as per the report during FY 2020/21 was Sh765.91 billion, representing 80.2 per cent of the revised annual estimates.

To check on the burden of public debt and other related fiscal strains, the Controller of Budget said the government should enhance the collection of domestic taxes to expand fiscal space and ensure borrowings are used only for financing development expenditure and not for recurrent expenditure and at the minimum cost to reduce the high cost associated with debt repayment.

Nyakango recommended that the government takes stock of all ongoing and stalled projects, provides funds to finish them, and defers any new projects to curb the accumulation of pending bills.

As of June 30, 2021, pending bills stood at Sh36.35 billion, accounting for 5.1 per cent of the development budget for the year. The Controller of Budget recommended that all ministries and departments ensure payment of pending bills is prioritised in the FY 2021/22 in compliance with the law. “In addition, the government should oversee the coordination of all joint projects between the two levels of government to avoid duplication of projects aimed at accomplishing similar objectives,” read the report.

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