Govt. travel expenses total $7.7 million
Government expenditure on travel totaled $7.7 million in the 2016-2017 financial year according to public accounts.
And 16 out of the 25 government ministries audited by the Ministry of Finance overspent their travel budgets.
This was highlighted in the Ministry of Finance’s full year performance analysis for the fiscal year 2016-2017 which has been submitted to the Cabinet.
According to the analysis, the Ministry for Works Transport and Infrastructure had the largest travel expense and went over budget by 201 per cent in 2016-2017.
In the third quarter of the same financial year, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology topped the list by going over budget by 160 per cent. But it was soon overtaken in the final quarter, when the Works Transport and Infrastructure Ministry took over and overspent by 160 per cent.
The Ministry of Finance noted in the report that there are few ministerial conferences that are held annually, which can be predicted and accounted for within the budget.
But often there are invitations that come during the financial year, which require attendance of government officials.
Training opportunities for public servants during the financial year can be unpredictable, but is vital to ongoing capacity building programmes, added the Ministry.
The Ministry noted that these were some of the factors that lead to increased spending on expenditure items. In terms of overspending by various ministries and government agencies, the Ministry of Finance noted the following.
Ministry of Natural Resources at 157 per cent
Electoral Commissioner 153 per cent
Law Reform Commission 150 per cent
Ministry of Education at 130 per cent
Ministry of the Prime Minister 129 per cent
Ministry of Justice 121 per cent
National Prosecutor's Office 114 per cent
Ministry of Health 113%;
Ministry of Agriculture 111 per cent
Ministry of Foreign Affairs 108 per cent
Ministry for Police 108 per cent
Legislative Assembly 104 per cent
Ministry of Prisons 102 per cent
Office of the Attorney General 101 per cent
Bureau of Statistics 96 per cent
Ministry of Commerce 93 per cent
Ombudsman's Office 89 per cent
Ministry for Women and Community 81 per cent
Ministry for Public Enterprises 81 per cent
Ministry of Finance 80 per cent
Audit Office 79 per cent
Public Service Commission 68 per cent
Ministry for Revenue 64 per cent