IN BRIEF : EAC MPs question travel budget

NAIROBI - East African MPs say they are shocked by high travel expenses of the East African Community (EAC) staff and sponsored delegates from the partner states. They warned the regional body could be spending more money on travel and subsistence allowances rather than on core development projects.

NAIROBI - East African MPs say they are shocked by high travel expenses of the East African Community (EAC) staff and sponsored delegates from the partner states.

They warned the regional body could be spending more money on travel and subsistence allowances rather than on core development projects.

While debating the EAC audited accounts for the year ending June 30, 2008, Eriya Kategaya, Uganda minister for EAC Affairs and first deputy premier, told an East African Legislative Assembly session in Arusha last week that the rising expenditure on travel was a matter of concern.

He told the assembly that there was no justification for a 87 per cent increase in travel expenditure during 2007/2008 compared to the previous year despite commencement of negotiations for the EAC Common Market which rotated among the capitals of member states.

“EAC officials have been attending many conferences without having been told the value of such meetings to our integration efforts,” he noted.

The 46- page report presented to the House, currently sitting in Arusha, indicated that travel and subsistence allowances paid rose significantly from $1.9m in 2006/2007 to $3.6m in 2007/2008 financial year.

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