Govt to issue new guidelines to regulate foreign travel

By DPPS

The Government will issue new guidelines to regulate foreign travel by officers of both the national and county governments.

The new regulations are aimed at curbing the unprecedented trips made in the recent past by members of the county assemblies, county executives and MPs.

The agreement to issue new regulations was reached at a meeting between Deputy President William Ruto and governors led by Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto who chairs the council of governors.

“There is need for prudent management of public resources and one of the ways to do so is to regulate travels to avoid wastage,” said the Deputy President after the meeting at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi.

“The national government is going to issue policy guidelines and standards for all foreign travels for both national and county government staff so that proper and prudent use of public funds in relation to foreign travels is achieved,” he said.

The decision to issue fresh regulations came amid reports by the Auditor General that members of county assemblies were spending millions of shillings on lavish foreign trips.

During the meeting called under the auspices of Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC), it was agreed that the new travel regulations should set the limit on the amount of money to be spent by respective counties on foreign travel.

“There is need for a framework to put a ceiling on expenditure on travel as unregulated trips by county officials is posing a serious threat to devolution,” Governor Isaac Rutto told the meeting.
It was then agreed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue new guidelines to regulate all foreign travel.

To ensure total compliance to the new regulations it was agreed that the Senate shall be called upon to generate laws that provide a clear legal framework that guides all matters of devolution including foreign travel.

“We will engage the Senate collectively to ensure that it provides a robust legal framework to give county governments latitude to implement and facilitate devolution in the country,” said the Deputy President.

During the meeting the Transition Authority was directed to finalize its audit of all assets and liabilities held by the defunct local authorities in preparation for their transfer to county government.

‘‘In the next 60 days the Transitional Authority will conduct a proper audit of assets and liabilities that belonged to the defunct local authorities and work out the modalities of transferring them to the county governments,” said the Deputy President.

During the meeting TA was hard pressed to explain why it was slow in auditing assets and liabilities of the local authorities.”