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CSs, Governors to only travel with 2 people as govt freezes non-essential travel

The government has frozen all non-essential travel in a move to “scale down and prioritise spending, focusing on critical operations and activities”.

In a letter to government officials, Chief of Staff and Head of the Public Service Felix Koskei says effects immediately,  delegations involving Cabinet and Principal Secretaries and governors have been restricted to a three-person limit. That is a CS and two other persons only.

“Delegations headed by Cabinet Secretaries shall not exceed three persons including the Cabinet Secretary as Head of Delegation (1+2),” he said, adding that where the CS is to be accompanied, at least one of the delegates shall be a technical officer specialised in the subject matter of the foreign engagement and shall be with no security or personal assistants.

In a further move to tame spending, Koskei says CSs and PSs in the same ministries are not to be away on foreign travel at the same time unless the foreign engagement expressly demands the same.

On occasions where the County Executive Committee is to travel on behalf of a Governor, Koskei says he/she shall travel alone.

Subsequent to the new directive, the government has suspended all travel approvals currently being granted by Principal Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers for staff within their respective agencies.

“Delegations accompanying the President, the First Lady, the Deputy President, and the Prime Cabinet Secretary shall strictly be approved for officials playing a direct role in the scheduled activities/programme of the principals,” Koskei said in the letter.

Consequently, the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs has been directed to rationalise the number of personnel accompanying each of the principals and reduce the same by 50 percent a well as limit the period of travel to seven days inclusive of travel dates.

Additionally, the National Treasury has been directed to equitably rationalise by 50 percent all foreign and local travel budgets.

“As an additional measure, Foreign Missions are to fully attend to, and represent the Government of Kenya, in all matters of interest and in which the Republic of Kenya is invited to participate, prior to engagement of line ministries,” Koskkei said.

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