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Government spends less on development, new report shows

Government institutions posted low levels of expenditure performance for both development and recurrent budget in the first quarter of 2016/2017 financial year.

According to a report titled – National Government Budget Implementation – by the Office of the Controller of Budget, Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) expenditure performance for the first quarter covering July, August and September was below the expected 25 per cent quarterly performance.

In the period under review, the total development expenditure for MDAs was Sh93 billion representing 11.3 per cent of the annual gross development estimates which was pegged at Sh820.2 billion.

However, this was an increase from the 10.7 per cent reported in a similar period last financial year.

On the other hand, the recurrent expenditure was at 19.2 per cent of the annual gross recurrent estimates with the MDAs only spending Sh164.9 billion against the total annual budget of Sh857.5 billion.

“The levels of expenditure for both development and recurrent are therefore, below the 25 per cent expected performance by the end of the first quarter. In order to achieve higher rates of development and recurrent expenditure, the office recommends that planned activities should be implemented as outlined in the annual work plans,” read part of the report.

Of the development expenditure, capital transfers to Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs) accounted for the largest chunk of the funds at Sh49 billion, equivalent to 52.8 per cent of the development expenditure.

The second highest expenditure category was refurbishment of buildings at Sh31.8 billion representing 34.2 per cent of the gross development expenditure. Other categories with notable development expenditure included; construction and civil works at Sh7.7 billion, construction of buildings at Sh790 million, and Pre-Feasibility and Appraisal Studies at Sh359.5 million.

Personnel emoluments expenditure dominated recurrent expenditure with Sh74 billion going towards salaries and allowances for staff. This represented 44.9 per cent of the gross recurrent expenditure.

Teachers Service Commission accounted for the largest portion of the money spent on personnel emoluments at Sh45.4 billion representing 61.3 per cent of the total personnel expenditure by MDAs.

Recurrent transfers to SAGAs amounted to Sh62.4 billion with the Ministry of Defence getting at Sh19.1 billion, the highest spender.

Foreign and domestic travel accounted for Sh2.1 billion and Sh1.5 billion respectively with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accounting for Sh834.9 of the Sh2.1 billion foreign travel expenditure. Interestingly, Sh1 billion was spent on hospitality, conference and catering in only three months.

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