Govt Restricts Foreign Travel For Public Officials

October 3, 2023

Government officials are now prohibited from foreign travel in five specified categories.

In a statement released on Monday, Head of Public Service Felix Koskei highlighted that the constitution necessitates the judicious and responsible utilization of public funds.

Koskei emphasized that this principle is the guiding anchor for the government’s current fiscal consolidation and monetary policy strategies.

The suspended categories include benchmarking and study visits, training, and related capacity-building initiatives, research, academic meetings, and symposia. Additionally, conferences and meetings of general participation, side events, showcase events and exhibitions, as well as caucus and association meetings and events, are included in the suspension.

Koskei noted that the interventions have resulted in a reduction of the available resource envelope. This reduction affects the ability to carry out the diverse activities planned in pursuit of the respective governmental mandates at both the National and County levels.

“This has necessitated the need to scale down and prioritise spending, focusing on the critical operations and activities that are essential to service delivery to the citizen,” he said.

Koskei additionally suspended sponsored events, which frequently require supplementation in terms of quarter per diem and ticket upgrades. However, this exclusion applies only if the invitee explicitly waives the anticipated top-up amount.

He stated that public entities scheduled to travel and participate in any upcoming events falling within the specified five categories must seek virtual participation options where available.

Koskei added that, as an alternative, entities are also mandated to liaise with the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs to ensure the onsite participation of diplomatic officials, fulfilling the government’s obligations in this regard.

“The participation should also be pursuant to the conduct of critical state party engagements and for the purpose of fulfilling a statutory leadership or membership role, in which critical decisions impacting the country’s position are under consideration,” Koskei said.

Koskei stated that to facilitate the implementation of the directive, the State has chosen to reduce the delegation size of various state officers.

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