Kenya: town hall cuts travel budget for MCA

The town hall has reduced its budget for domestic travel for MCAs and Nairobi staff by 17 million shillings in an effort to limit local travel expenses.

This follows a report by the Budget Controller earlier this month that accused MCAs of pocketing millions in travel and per diem allowances, some exceeding the cap set by the Wages and Compensation Commission ( SRC).

Subsequently, in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022 starting next month, the Nairobi County Assembly will only have 20 million shillings for domestic travel and subsistence, as well as other expenses. transport.

The county assembly had asked for 37 million shillings for the head of the poll, but will now have to budget with 20 million shillings, as the initial allocation has been reduced.

When reading the budget statement last week, Nairobi Financial and Economic Planning Officer Allan Igambi said the reduced money will now be spent on promoting and / or recruiting government employees. County.

“That the allowance for domestic travel and subsistence and other transportation costs under the clerk’s office be reduced by 17 million shillings and that the budget be amended accordingly to reflect this,” it reads in part in the statement.

Most domestic trips are for retreats and workshops where county lawmakers receive travel allowances and per diems.

When MCAs go out for retirement, they are entitled to a daily allowance of Sh 14,000 in addition to Sh 20,000 as transportation allowance, among other payments.

A March 2021 report from the Nairobi Assembly Liaison Committee revealed MCA’s penchant for pensions as opposed to attending committee meetings, with the assembly spending over 85 million shillings on allowances for MCAs last year only.

According to the report, although the committee is virtual, members did not log in, denying the committee’s required quorum to transact business.

During the fifth assembly session, between February 4 and December 3, 2020, parish representatives performed 45 retreats through the 23 city assembly committees.

It also appeared that the committees had not tabled pension reports exposing the assembly to audit issues.

Budget Controller Margaret Nyakang’o, in the Budget Execution Review Report of 47 Counties for the Nine Months of the Current Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2021, cited Nairobi with Meru, Kajiado, Machakos , Siaya, Bungoma and Tana River as the biggest spenders in travel and per diems.

In the first nine months, Nairobi spent 297.7 million shillings just on travel despite the economic hardship caused by Covid-19.

The situation was no different in the most recent fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, where the county government spent 387.2 million shillings on international and domestic travel in the first half of that fiscal year.

However, domestic travel took the bulk of the expense at Sh 337.9 million, with the executive spending Sh 232.39 million, while MCAs spending Sh 105.5 million.