Treasury PS nominee Chris Kiptoo keeps the NG-CDF door open
National Treasury Principal Secretary nominee Chris Kiptoo has promised Members of Parliament to continue consultations on the embattled National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF).
Speaking when he appeared before the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning for vetting, Kimani further promised to deal with wastage in government offices.
Kiptoo who has been serving as Principal Secretary since December 2015 in the Ministries of Trade; Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives, as well as the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said he will seek advice from the office of the Attorney General on how to arrest the situation emboiling NG-CDF.
He said, “I appreciate that CDF has done a good job for the country. I am aware the NG-CDF Act 2013, is what was nullified by the court and not the current operational one. If approved, I plan to continue with the ongoing consultations with the Attorney General’s office over the Fund.”
MPs last week threatened to abandon their responsibilities if Treasury does not disperse NGCDF funds. The standoff between the parliamentarians and Treasury comes amid debate on the House floor to entrench the fund in law.
While admitting the country’s debt burden has left the country with very little room to maneuver, Kiptoo said he will embark on a journey to arrest the wastage in all levels of government. According to Kiptoo, he would focus on improving the quality of expenditure and absorption of budgets.
“While the current austerity measures by the government to curb expenditure may hurt some businesses which majorly depend on the government to stay afloat such as the hotel industry, the measures are only short term and I believe the National Treasury will review them from time to time,” he said.
He added, “There is a need for us to reduce unnecessary expenditure on items such as stationary. Should I be approved, I will focus on ensuring that our procurement processes get us value for money. We do not have to buy goods and services at an overpriced rate.”
Kiptoo also committed to halt international travel by government officials in accordance with President William Ruto’s directive. He stated that the government will only allow critical foreign trips.
“Foreign trips have to be frozen, but coming from a trade background, it will not be a blanket ban. We will have to rationalise it because some trips are critical,” he said.