20 May 2009


Government axe to fall on luxury spending

*Budget procuring of government vehicles to be strictly prohibited, Cut down of maintenance and running cost of vehicles .
*Funds to be saved in the process will be channelled to financing core activities

By Ray Naluyaga

The Government plans to curb luxury spending in the next Budget, as part of its comprehensive measures to cut costs, the Treasury says.

The implementation of the proposals will see a 10 per cent expenditure ceiling on the administrative costs of funds allocated for development projects.

The measures, according to the ministry of Finance, also reflect the Government's intention to ensure effective use of available resources.

Also targeted in the expenditure control and cost reduction is the tendency in the Government to buy luxury vehicles for use by civil servants, the proliferation of seminars and workshops, allowances, trips by public officials and spending on government hospitality.


The Treasury says allocations to those areas will be reduced and the saved funds channelled into financing core activities. And accounting officers have been instructed to strictly scrutinise and vet such expenses.
There will also be regular inspections of public sector payrolls to, among other things, ascertain their authenticity. This will also ensure that employees removed from the payroll for any reason,death, retirement or dismissal stay off it.

Two experts interviewed yesterday commended the Government move. An activist for good governance, Mr Moses Kulaba, said recurrent expenditure items constituted up to 70 per cent of the total development project budgets.

Deloitte senior tax manager Edward Mwachinga said the expenditure on "managerial issues has been a double tragedy for the national Budget, with seminars and workshops wasting a lot of time and resources.

Those activities, he added, took people away from their workstations with no value being added to their productivity in the end. As result, he said, they were, in fact, inhibiting productivity.
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"While recurrent expenditure items can't be completely avoided in development projects, to cater for administrative costs, accounting officers are required to ensure that such costs do not constitute more than 10 per cent of total project cost," the Treasury notes in its Budget preparation document.

The Medium Term Plan and Budget Guidelines for 2009/10 -2011/12 says that many development projects constitute more recurrent items than the development ones. That, the document explains, has greatly contributed to failure to implement or complete some projects.

In the forthcoming budget, project funding is forecast at about Sh2.8 trillion, up from Sh2.4 trillion in the current financial year. This time around, local funding of development expenditure will be Sh1 trillion instead of Sh940 billion during 2008/09.

"In ensuring accountability in using public resources, accounting officers are required to adhere to the approved budgets," the Treasury says.

"Ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), regions and local government authorities (LGAs) will have to exercise a high degree of financial discipline."

According to the document, the procuring of government vehicles "is strictly prohibited". Until further notice, it adds, no funds should be allocated for buying vehicles in the next financial year. Another measure to cut cost is the reduction of maintenance and running expenses of vehicles.

Seminars and workshops have been singled out as one of the items costing the Government dearly, thus contributing to increased expenditure. The Government has conceded that many of these are �unnecessarily conducted in expensive hotels".


Those that will be held after getting approval from the Prime Minister's Office will now be hosted in public institutions, according to the new directives.

"Starting from this financial year, accounting officers are required to seek approval to conduct seminars and workshops from the Prime Minister's Office," the Treasury says.

On per diem and travel allowances, the Government says, accounting officers must ensure that every expenditure incurred has value for money. The only foreign trips that will be authorised will be those of national interest, and which reflect the expected returns.

Furniture bought should be of high quality. The Treasury advises against the tendency to procuring expensive imported furniture that is less durable than locally made items. The Government also expects to curb costs in the public procurement and management.

"A big portion of public expenditure is on procurement of works, goods and services. Accounting officers and public procurement units should take measures to improve supervision and monitoring of purchases."

Deloitte tax manager Mwachinga said that under the current circumstances, the Government had had no choice but to initiate cost cutting measures.

"Taxpayers' money has for many years been used to pay public officials' fat allowances to attend seminars and workshops in expensive luxury hotels where what they do is have a good time," he said.


Mr Kulaba warning the Government against failure to implement the cost-cutting measures, as had been the practice in the past. However, he welcomed the zeal with which Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has been dealing with the matter to curb wastefulness in the Government.

SOURCE: The Citizen.Cartoons courtersy of Kipanya



HOW OFTEN HAVE WE HEARD THAT?DIFFERENT BEATS BUT SAME LYRICS.ONLY EXCUSE NOW,THE CURRENT GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS.THAT'S SIMPLY ALL TALK,BUT DON'T EXPECT ANY SIGNIFICANT ACTIONS.

COST-CUSTING MEASURES SHOULD HAVE BEEN GOOD NEWS TO EVERY MWANANCHI,BUT WE HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE.REMEMBER WHAT WE WERE TOLD AFTER THE 1978-79 TZ-UGANDA WAR?"TUFUNGE MIKANDA" (WE SHOULD TIGHTEN OUR BELTS).IRONICALLY,MOST OF OUR LEADERS COULDN'T DO SO NOT BECAUSE MADUKA YA KAYA HAD RUN OUT OF STOCK OF BELTS,BUT RATHER THEIR WAISTS WERE TOO LARGE TO BE TIGHTENED!HOWEVER,IN THE SPIRIT OF AMANI NA UTULIVU AND UMOJA NA MSHIKAMANO THE MAJORITY OF US (WALALAHOI) HAD TO DO IT FOR THE PRIVILEGED FEW (VINGUNGE).

OKAY,WE COULD AGREE TO ADHERE TO WISDOM OF OUR FOREFATHERS THAT "YALIYOPITA SI NDWELE,TUGANGE YAJAYO" (LET BYGONES BE BYGONES),AND AGREE WITH THE PROPOSED MEASURES.BUT,COST-CUTTING AT WHOSE EXPENSE?MAFISADI OR WANANCHI?HOW SUCH MEASURES MAKE ANY SENSE WHEN OUR SELFISH MPs UNASHAMEDLY PROPOSE TO SKYROCKET THEIR SALARIES FROM THE CURRENT Tshs 7 Million PER MONTH TO Tshs 12 Million ?

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This' the good one. Especially the last sentences about OUR member of parliament with their salary thing.
    I wanna be one of them. Gosh!!!
    Thanks Brother. You said them all

    ReplyDelete

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