Government is squeezing the life out budgets in the name of reducing the country’s wage bill. In a circular to all principal secretaries and other accounting officers of the national and county governments by Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, there will be no hiring for the next three years as the government is not planning to incur costs for recruitment in the 2019-20 budget unless a ministry, state department or agency (MDA) gets the approval of the Treasury.
Yatani informed the government officials that the saved funds prioritised to drive the Big Four agenda “to build on the progress made so far as the state confronts unemployment, poverty and inequality.” Among the targeted cut are allocations for consumable goods, staff upgrade, ICT equipment and funding for parastatals meaning government staff will have to survive on what they have.
He also proposed that money transferred to the entities be factored on their revenue base and the savings channelled to other sectors forbidding state agencies from asking for resources without a performance review or reports which must be presented prior to budget talks.
Ministries are expected to undertake programme performance reviews detailing the progress of targets spelt out in the financial year 2016-17 to 2018/19 budgets as Yatani maintained that there will be no funding for projects with no clear output, key performance indicators and targets and when approved, the money will be allocated on the basis of how the funding need helps achieve President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.
Accounting officers have been asked to review all proposed ministries, departments and agencies budgets for 2020-2021 to align them with the Big 4 Agenda and have been barred from presenting budget proposals before they analyse previous budgetary allocations, actual expenditure and achieved output. Treasury further warns ministries against exaggerating costs of budget needs, saying those that violate the set ceilings will be checked.