EAC Travel Expenditures Reduced By Ugx 12 Billion

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In short
EAC secretary general Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko announced then that the secretariat was reducing the number of days spent in technical meetings, conference durations and per diem for travels. The communication adds that all air tickets shall be booked and issued based on the most direct route.

Traveling expenses for the East African Community Secretariat have significantly reduced over the 10-months period running from May 2016 - February 2017.The expenditures fell to USD 9.1 million (33 billion Shillings) in the period ending February 2017 compared to USD 12.5 million (45 billion Shillings) the previous financial year, a drop of USD 3.4 million (12 billion Shillings), according to a report released this afternoon.

The saving was made off air ticket expenses and Daily Subsistence Allowance for EAC Staff, air tickets for Partner States delegates and other participants at EAC meetings.  It is a result of stringent expenditure reforms announced early last year in all EAC organs and institutions amid a financial crunch at the Arusha-based secretariat.

EAC Secretary General Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko announced then that the secretariat was reducing the number of days spent in technical meetings, conference duration's and per diem for travels. The communication adds that all air tickets shall be booked and issued based on the most direct route.

Amb Mfumukeko said that the most significant cost reductions were in expenditure on air tickets which dropped by USD 456,491 (1.6 billion Shillings) and air tickets for Partner States' delegates and other participants to EAC meetings which declined by USD 408,273 (1.4 billion Shillings).

Daily Subsistence Allowance for EAC Staff from also plunged from USD 4.5 million (16 billion Shillings) to USD 3.2 million (11 billion Shillings) over the same period, a difference of USD 1.36 million (5 billion Shillings). Expenditure on DSA for Delegates to EAC meetings went down from USD 4.4 million (16 billion Shillings) to USD 3.5 million (12 billion Shillings), a drop of USD 1.05 million (4 billion Shillings).

Also worth noting is that the EAC overall travel budget has declined significantly over the past three financial years from USD 28.1 million (100.5 billion Shillings) in the 2014/2015 to USD 21 million (75 billion Shillings) in the 2016/2017 Financial Year.

The Secretariat has since April 2016 been undergoing administrative and institutional reforms aimed at cutting down on costs and reducing wastage in its expenditure.  The ongoing reforms have helped the Community to adapt to the reduction of its travel budget and to the overall financial constraints it has been facing.

Ambassador Mfumukeko, noted that the EAC organs and institutions were experiencing liquidity challenges as a result of delays in disbursement of contributions by both the partner states and development partners.

Although the true extent of the EAC financial hardships is not known, the regional body's cost of administration was unnecessarily huge, yet it depends squarely on donations and contribution from its five member states. The EAC budget for the financial year 2016/17 stands at 101 million US Dollars.

 

About the author

Sylvia Nankya
Sylvia is an Editor and Media Trainer with Uganda Radio Network. She has been a URN staff member since 2013. Sylvia has previously worked as a reporter and news anchor with Radio One (2001-2009) and with Vision Group (2009-2011). Six of her active years in Journalism were spent covering the Parliament of Uganda.

Over the past few years, Sylvia has worked to promote the positive development of societies recovering from conflict through training journalists on choices of stories, how they report issues and use of appropriate language in covering conflict and post-conflict situations.

She is an Alumni of RNTC- Holland, Les Aspin Centre for Government at Marquette University-WI, USA and a Community Solutions Fellow.