PreviousNext

Per diem system too open to fraud: report

By // Kenya News | Per diem system too open to fraud: report
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
By Bernard James
The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam. A new report by a Norwegian agency has added weight to the contention that the current government system of per diem and allowances is too open to fraud.It proposes a uniform rate for all civil servants to control further abuse. Released last month, the study by the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation (Norad) recommends that per diem be limited to travel-related expenses only. This comes against the backdrop of growing concern over billions of shillings paid annually by government institutions in allowances and per diem at the expense of development programmes and the national budget.

According to Sikika, a local civil society advocacy organisation, Sh272 billion and Sh171 billion were allocated respectively for training and allowances in the 2008/2009 budget.

The amount was scaled down in the next budget on the instructions of the Ministry of Finance, but the allocations rose to Sh269 billion in the 2010/2011 budget. The expenditure pattern continued in the 2011/2012 budget at Sh262 billion.
Controller and Auditor-General  (CAG) Ludovic Utouh said yesterday that he would not consent to the proposal to standardise travel allowances because this had not been adopted even in the countries of origin of those proposing it.  He promised to give detailed comments on the report after he had seen it.

According to the study—which covered Tanzania, Malawi and Ethiopia—seminars and workshops are now organised opportunistically and payment of bonus exaggerated to justify per diem.

Some of the malpractices and fraud reportedly condoned by the current system include buying of loyalty by managers with discretionary authority and other more serious abuses at higher echelons of administration.

The report recommends standardised per diem rates calculated on the basis of surveys of hotels, restaurants and conference centres across the country concerned, regardless of seniority of staffs.
“Per diem rates should not be differentiated by staff seniority or salary level,” says the report. “Regardless of rank, staff stay in similar hotels and eat similar meals.”

Norad commissioned Chr. Michelsen Institute to undertake the study, which sought to highlight challenges associated with the use and abuse of per diems and to assess its effects on development programmes and national budgets.

Since the rank of staff is reflected in the regular salary system, it should not be enforced by a travel compensation system. “Reimbursement should be provided only when expenses have actually been incurred,” says the report.  
To take corruption and fraud out of per diem, the report says, a salary top-up in what would have been paid as per diems might be the only opportunity for civil servants to earn a decent salary.

This recommendation backs the 2010/2011 report of the CAG, which says the government can substantially increase salaries of its employees by restricting and consolidating personal allowances into actual salaries.
The CAG’s report was categorical that allowance allocations, including per diems, were taking up the greater part of expenditure on personal emoluments.

The percentage of allowances rose from 41 per cent in 2009/10 to 57 per cent in 2010/11 without any measure being taken to abate the situation.

“The other problem of allowances is that they are prone to abuse,” says the CAG.
A study of civil service performance in Uganda and Tanzania in 2008 found that three-quarters of the civil servants surveyed considered allowances as important as basic salary in their total income, while 13 per cent found allowances to be much more important than salaries.  

The recommendation is likely to please civil servants and their counterparts in the private sector for whom allowances of all kinds, including travel-related per diems, which are considered generous, contribute significantly to total income.

The report proposes that development partners organising training and workshops in Tanzania and the two other countries to beware as the events are increasingly turned to be opportunities for manipulation of per diems.

“Extra payments are used too frequently to attract participants and this ‘inflationary’ practice has contributed to inducing civil servants to expect ‘something extra’ simply for doing their regular job,” says the report.

Internal controls lay too much emphasis on what the seminar is all about and the number of participants instead of focusing on the outcomes in terms of better service delivery.

The report also discusses the key role development partners can play in reducing the problem by reforming their system of organising and disbursing the payments. This will also help control government spending of development aid and loans.
On many occasions, development partners have complained about the difficulty of attracting civil servants to their seminars to enhance competence and efficiency in state administration and civil society organisations without offering something extra.

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

GDP: British economy is now back to pre-crash levels

The British economy grew by 0.8% between April and June, ONS saysIt has taken six years to reverse the decline which began in early 2008IMF ...

Formerly conjoined twins who were born sharing a liver and intestines return to the hospital where they were separated to celebrate their first birthday

Emmett and Owen Ezell returned to Medical City Hospital in Dallas, TexasThey were separated at the hospital last August, sharing liver and intestinesThe boys now ...

Palestinians declare 'Day of Rage' against Israel after protests over UN school bombing

Two Palestinians killed and dozens injured during clashes with Israeli security forces near West Bank city of RamallahViolence came after UN school in Gaza with ...

Putin's daughter Maria has 'fled Holland' after Dutch fury at Russia's response to MH17 disaster

Maria Putin, 29, has reportedly fled Holland following calls for deportation Dutch mayor has apologised for calling for Maria to be deportedThe Kremlin refuses point blank to discuss divorced ...

Saucer of milk for the corner table: Melbourne cat cafe opens in Melbourne

The Cat Cafe will open on July 30 at 375 Queen Street, MelbourneIt is Australia's first Cat Cafe where people can pay to interact with ...

Cannabis-crazed killer knocked Happy Mondays star Bez's DJ friend unconscious and stabbed him 13 times through a rug - then put a bowl of dog food on the rug to hide what he'd done 

Darren Gasper beat and stabbed his friend Robert Jackson in his kitchenHe also stabbed a young girl in the house in Manchester on July 24 ...

Mother investigated by police after leaving her baby in BMW while she went shopping in Asda

Concerned passers-by called police after spotting the child on its own in carWoman said to have returned to BMW 'casually with several shopping bags'The baby ...

Madonna Badger who lost three kids and grandparents in Christmas fire finds love and marries

Madonna Badger lost her three girls in a deadly Christmas Day fire in 2011She announced on Facebook that she has tied the knot with William ...

Andreja Pejic comes out as a transgender woman

Andreja – formerly Andrej – Pejic, 22, went public about her decision to have sex reassignment surgery on WednesdayPejic has been making waves in the ...

Doomed Algerian passenger plane 'may have been struck by lightning' as France sends in military to secure Sahara desert crash scene

Swiftair MD-83 vanished 50mins after take-off from capital of Burkina FasoMali president says wreckage was been found near Boulikessi desert villagePlane 'made detour over fears ...

Busted! Locals disgusted after pilot caught URINATING in town's main water supply

Tourist saw pilot urinating while visiting the Awoonga Dam in GladstoneThe dam supplies water to the regional city and the nearby town, CalliopeNicole Atkinson took ...

Kenya Top Stories

Marine's missing wife miscarried months before vanishing on 'special day' hunting trip with married ex-Marine who was her lover and may have fathered her child

Newly pregnant Erin Corwin, 20, was last seen leaving her home at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in California on June 28She lived on ...

PM sends further 100 Australian Federal Police Officers to help secure MH17 crash site as more human remains are found

Takes total of AFP officers in Europe to almost 200Tony Abbott stressed it is a 'humanitarian' missionSome officers will be armed and there will be ...

Australia's southern skies light-up with an incredible spectrum of colourful hues known as the Aurora Australis

The Aurora Australis or 'Southern Lights' is best seen in parts of Tasmania on a clear and cold night's sky It is the Southern Hemisphere's ...

The nurseries that are like budget airlines: Parents being forced to pay for 'optional' extras like food... while some even impose fines for being late to pick-up a child 

Parents being hit by extra fees for meals, late pick-ups and registrationHidden costs among a number of factors which cause childcare problemsLack of flexibility from ...

US suspends peace corps programmes in Kenya

The State Department further revealed that more than 50 volunteers have been pulled out of the country due to the security concerns/COURTESY PEACE CORPS WEBNAIROBI, ...

$2 million Australian homes that need bulldozing

A derelict Seaforth home in its original condition, in northern Sydney, sold for $2.2 million on MondayPartly dilapidated North Bondi home, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, ...

One in five over-65s drink every day - far more than young adults who have 'more sensible' drinking habits

Daily drinking much higher among over 65s than in younger groupsExperts say they have engrained drinking habits and ignore health warningsYounger groups are more health ...

Google launches massive study on the human body

By Daily Mail Reporter Published: 06:10 GMT, 25 July 2014 | Updated: 06:44 GMT, 25 July 2014 ...

M&S takes grouse off the shelves after threat of a boycott: Chain had planned to sell meat across stores after successful trial last year 

Meat was planned for stores after customers in London snapped it upBut plans angered conservationists, who said hunting hit birds of preyM&S have now agreed ...

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison allows 157 asylum seekers to come to Australia

Boat carrying 157 asylum seekers, including 37 children, has been detained at sea for almost a monthThis is the first asylum seeker vessel to land ...

TOP STORIES EXTRA

Masinde Muliro

Masinde Muliro (1922 - August 14, 1992) was a Kenyan politician, one of the central figures in the shaping of the political landscape in Kenya.
Masinde Muliro

Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya

Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya (August 15, 1930 – July 5, 1969) was a prominent Kenyan politician during Jomo Kenyatta's government. He was founder of the
Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya

Paul Joseph Ngei

The Honourable Paul Joseph Ngei (18 October 1923 - 15 August 2004) was a Kenyan politician who was imprisoned for his role in the anti-colonial
Paul Joseph Ngei

Ramogi Achieng Oneko

Ramogi Achieng Oneko (1920–2007) was a Kenyan freedom fighter and a politician. In Kenya, he is considered as a national hero.He was born in Tieng'a
Ramogi Achieng Oneko

Jaramogi Ajuma Oginga Odinga

Jaramogi Ajuma Oginga Odinga (c. 1911 – January 20, 1994) was a Luo Chief, who became a prominent figure in Kenya's struggle for independence. He
Jaramogi Ajuma Oginga Odinga

Josiah Mwangi Kariuki

Josiah Mwangi Kariuki (March 21, 1929–March 2, 1975) was a Kenyan socialist politician during the administration of the Jomo Kenyatta government. He held different government
Josiah Mwangi Kariuki

Waruhiu Itote

Waruhiu Itote (General China) (b. 1922; d. 30 April 1993) was one of the key leaders of the Mau Mau rebellion alongside Dedan Kimathi and
Waruhiu Itote

Musa Mwariama

Field Marshal Musa Mwariama (born 1928) is a former leader of the Mau Mau in Meru and the highest ranking Mau Mau who survived the
Musa Mwariama