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Presidency spent Sh1.4bn on hospitality

by 08/10/2015 15:27:00 0 comments 1 Views

The Presidency used Sh1.4 billion of its Sh6.3 billion budget in the last financial year on hospitality, conferencing and catering, according to a report by the Controller of Budget.

The department at the time managed the Offices of the President and the Deputy President. The expenditure is part of Sh4.2 billion spent by all government departments on catering and hospitality during the year under review.

The report further reveals that the Presidency spent Sh203 million on trips abroad.

President Kenyatta is said to have made history by making twice the number of foreign trips made by his predecessor Mwai Kibaki during his two terms in office.

Yesterday, Nation learnt that the Senate has written to the Chief of Staff and Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua asking for an explanation on how much President Kenyatta and his entourage spent during the recent trip to New York to attend the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The report released by the Office of the Controller of Budget indicated that foreign and domestic travel consumed Sh10.8 billion, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Service Commission listed as the heaviest spenders under the category.

Parliament’s spending on domestic travel is listed as the highest consumer of State funds, drawing 45.2 per cent of the money allocated to the entire government for the purpose.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry spending on foreign travel reached Sh1.5 billion, while MPs spent Sh3 billion to finance local travel and another Sh232 million on advertising and printing.

The report said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spent Sh1.2 billion on State visits abroad, Sh181 million on donations, Sh101 million on refund of medical expenses and Sh78.6 million on shipment of personal and house hold effects by staff.”

The Controller of Budget has warned the National Government over “dangerous” borrowing trends that has increased public debt from Sh2.36 trillion to Sh2.84 trillion in the last financial year. A report on the Annual National Government budget implementation review showed that the government increased borrowing by 20.3 per cent, which the CoB warns is a threat to the economy.

“Increasing public borrowing may result in undesirable fiscal consequences such as high interest rates, inflation and overburdening of future generations,” said a report prepared by Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo.

The report came just days after the National Treasury tabled a report in Parliament indicating that the government had borrowed Sh104 billion over the past eight months.

Said Ms Odhiambo: “It is recommended that the National Treasury should take appropriate measures to ensure that the public debt does not reach unsustainable levels.”

During the year, the government spent Sh2.7 billion on various sectorial training of staff. The report captured the Ministry of Interior as the highest spender on training, with Sh881.8 million consumed while another Sh615.6 million spent on rentals and land rates. Some Sh783 million went to maintenance of vehicles while another Sh437.8 million went to maintenance of other State assets under the Interior Ministry.

In the year under review, the State Department of Education used Sh27.7 billion to fund free primary and secondary education, with Sh845 million going to food rations and Sh393.6 million to sanitary and cleaning materials, supplies and services.

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