President Ruto limits executive members' trips abroad to 45 days a year

President William Ruto at State House. [PCS]

President William Ruto has limited the number of days members of the executive can be out of the country to 45 a year.

In a memo by Chief of Staff Felix Koskei, all executive members should also not travel for more than 15 days a quarter and they cannot be outside the country for more than seven days in a row, excluding travel days.

The memo is addressed to Cabinet Secretaries (CS), Principal Secretaries (PS), Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS), chairpersons and chief executive officers of state corporations.

Ruto also announced the suspension of all non-essential travel.

Koskei says that his office shall obtain advisory from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the necessity of Kenya’s participation in trips to be undertaken by government officials.

“In this regard, all requests for travel shall be copied to the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs for their information and advisory,” says Koskei.

Delegations headed by a CS should not exceed four people including the CS, while the ones headed by a PS, CAS, chairperson and CEO of state corporations shall not exceed three people including the head of the delegation.

The delegation for the trips shall only include relevant technical people to assist in meetings, deliberations or presentations related to the trip.

Personal assistants and security personnel for CS, PS, CAs, CEO and chairpersons of State Corporations will not be approved for travel save for assistants to people living with a disability.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Prime Cabinet Secretary (PCS) Musalia Mudavadi are also exempted from the requirement.

Clearance applications are to include a list of officials travelling and the total costs to be incurred.

“Technical/operational meetings, conferences and events should be attended by technical officers with requisite subject matter expertise.”

According to Koskei, CSs, PSs, CASs, chairpersons and CEOs of state corporations will be required to synchronize their foreign travel such that two officers will not be away from the office at the same time.

He says that all travel clearance applications are to be submitted on or seven days before the travel date and any application submitted after 5pm will have to be justified by the CS.

The application will be required to have an invitation letter addressed to the applicant by name, the role to be played and whether it is fully or partly sponsored.

It should also include a programme of the proposed event highlighting critical dates and a written confirmation from the head of procurement of the requesting agency on the proposed air ticket cost.

The travelling delegation will also be required to get a confirmation from the head of the finance unit of the requesting agency certifying total expenses, source and total amount and availability of taxes financing the travel as well as the Salaries Review Commission approved rates for the country to be visited.

President Ruto said that no one will be allowed to attend events abroad that have been organized by local or regional based public or private institutions.

“Benchmarking visits must be associated to a gazette reform initiative targeting a policy, legal and operational outcome that is towards finalisation,” Koskei says in the memo.

Ruto also ordered Ministries, Departments and Agencies to moderate the frequency of attendance at International Conferences and Workshops saying they should opt for virtual participation.

After returning officials will be required to file a report from the trio within seven days. CS will send their report to PCS, PSs and CASs will send their reports to Felix Koskei.

State Corporation CEOs and Chairpersons will be required to share their report with the board of directors while staff in ministries will share their reports with the PS.

“Processing of imprest surrender forms and documentation must be accompanied by relevant back to office reports.”