SRC proposes hike in local travel allowances for State officers

Government officials who travel for official duties outside Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru are set to get a pay hike following a proposal by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to increase their travel allowances.

Currently, daily travel allowances are pegged on job groups and towns being visited, with those traveling to Nairobi city earning 67 percent more than those visiting towns outside cities and county headquarters.

The new proposal, which is expected to favour state officers traveling for official duty outside cities, county headquarters, Malindi, and Naivasha, will see daily local travel allowances go up by between KES 1,200 and KES 8,000 for government officials whose assignments are outside cities.

The changes will raise the minimum per diems for local travel by between 40 percent and 66.7 percent, depending on the job groups.

Civil servants in job groups F-J will have their allowances harmonized to the cities’ rate of KES 6,300 from a range that goes as low as KES 4,200.

The travel allowance review will also be introduced for civil servants in job groups K-N, where the allowances will be at a uniform rate of KES 11,200 as opposed to the current rate of KES 7,000 for those on assignments outside cities, county headquarters, Malindi, and Naivasha.

According to the SRC plan, the flat rate for top-level State officers and civil employees will be KES 22,000, a 57 percent increase from KES 14,000 for officials assigned to towns outside cities, county headquarters, Malindi, and Naivasha.

The SRC has written to state bodies, including the Treasury and the chief of staff, and the head of the public service to submit their views on the proposal that also seeks to keep unchanged the travel allowances for international trips.

The payments called daily subsistence allowance (DSA) are meant to facilitate public officers to attend to official assignments away from their duty stations within the country and outside the country.

The SRC has reviewed DSA rates in the public service in line with the principles set out in Article 230(5) of the constitution and Section 12 of SRC Act, 2011.

The proposal is expected to be a boost for civil servants and will come on the back of an upward review of housing allowances.

The total wage bill for the government hit KES 1.055 trillion in the 2021/22 financial year, partly on allowances, accounting for over 50 percent of the ordinary revenues.

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