The foreign travel delegation for President William Ruto and other top government officials has been reduced by half.
Head of Public Service Felix Koskei issued the directive saying it extends to delegations accompanying the First Lady, the Deputy President, and the Prime Cabinet Secretary.
Koskei said approval for travel will be granted only to those who have a direct role in the scheduled activities or programs of the principals.
“In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs is directed to rationalise the number of personnel accompanying each of the principals, and reduce the same by fifty per cent,” said the Chief of Staff.
Koskei noted that the ministry is under instructions to restrict the issuance of invitations to government entities and ensure the participation of focal point institutions only when deemed essential.
He added that travel visas and other courtesies will be granted solely for travel linked to state-party engagements in which the government is participating to fulfill state obligations and as part of conducting critical state-party engagements.
Koskei added that visas and other courtesies will also be issued exclusively for the purpose of fulfilling a statutory leadership or membership role in which critical decisions affecting the country’s position are under consideration.
To ease the implementation of the directive, Koskei said that the circulars issued on January 26, 2015, and June 29, 2023, have been revised. The overall result of this revision, he explained, is that the cumulative duration members of delegations are permitted to be away is seven days, inclusive of travel dates.
In the circular issued in June 2023, Koskei specified that the total days a Cabinet Secretary (CS), Permanent Secretary (PS), or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a state corporation should be away from the country should not surpass seven days per travel, 15 days per quarter (three months), and 45 days per year.
“All other directives relating to travel days per quarter, and annually remain the same,” he said.
Koskei has also instructed the National Treasury to reduce by half both foreign and local travel budgets for Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, chairpersons, and CEOs of State Corporations, as well as chairpersons and CEOs of Commissions and Independent Offices, Governors, and County Executive Committee members.
Koskei stated, “The government will continue to further review and provide additional guidelines for its foreign diplomacy in alignment with this objective.”