Governors react angrily to new orders on foreign travel
1 weeks ago, 05:21
Governors have reacted angrily to fresh orders from the Devolution Ministry which is attempting to drastically cut down on foreign travel expenses.
The ministry through PS Charles Sunkuli wrote to all county secretaries and clerks of county assemblies giving new directives on how to cut foreign travel costs.
The ministry says before MCAs or county executives travel abroad for seminars, tours or conferences, they must write a statement on how that travel will benefit the county.
They must also provide minutes of a county assembly session that approved such travel.
The Devolution Ministry has also said no travel should be approved where participants are required to pay participation fees unless such events are recognised by international bodies.
Before foreign travel is approved, the MCAs or county executives must also have the invitation letters stamped and approved by the county assembly clerk or county secretary.
However, for that approval to be given, the travelling team must provide the total cost and breakdown of charges for the travel and indicate who will pay.
Another catch is that they must show where in the county’s work plan the foreign travel was budgeted for.
To guard against joyrides, when the team returns to Kenya, they must give a report on what they learnt and how that will be implemented for the good of the county.
This has not gone down well as the council of governors fired a response to the ministry saying the county governments do not report to any ministry.
The county chiefs maintain that oversight of county budgets is done by the assemblies and the Senate and therefore the ministry has no business interrogating their foreign travel plans and expenditure.
The letter was signed by chairman Josphat Nanok and addressed to all governors and the Devolution CS, the Head of Public Service, and Foreign Affairs PS.
The governors have asked the Devolution CS to immediately withdraw the letter on foreign travel.
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