Civil servants to get higher travel allowances in SRC plan

Lyn Mengich

Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson Lyn Mengich. SRC is seeking to increase travel allowances for State officers attending official duties in towns outside Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission is seeking to increase travel allowances for State officers attending official duties in towns outside Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru.

The SRC is proposing a revision to the current system of determining daily travel allowances, which is based on the job group and the town being visited.

Currently, State officers travelling to Nairobi on official duty receive up to 67 per cent more than those visiting towns outside cities and county headquarters. 

The commission is proposing to scrap the existing travel allowance rates, which have been in effect since 2017, and the introduction of new rates that will benefit State officers travelling outside the cities of Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru.

The changes will see daily local travel allowances go up by between Sh1,200 and Sh8,000 for government officials whose assignments are outside cities, county headquarters, Malindi and Naivasha.

The proposed increments will raise the minimum per diems for local travel by between 40 per cent and 66.7 per cent, depending on the job group.

The SRC has written to various State agencies, including the Treasury, the Chief of Staff and the Head of Public Service, requesting their feedback on the proposed changes. 

The proposal seeks to maintain the current travel allowances for international trips while revising the rates for domestic travel outside of Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru.

Daily subsistence allowance

The payments called daily subsistence allowance (DSA), are meant to facilitate public officers to attend to official assignments away from their duty stations within and out of the country.

“Pursuant to SRC’s mandate, and in line with the principles set out in Article 230(5) of the Constitution, and Section 12 of SRC Act, 2011, SRC has reviewed DSA rates in the public service,” says SRC.

State officers in grade F4 are currently paid Sh22,000 daily local travel allowance for trips to the four cities and Sh18,000 for trips to county headquarters, Malindi and Naivasha. They receive Sh14,000 for travel to the rest of the towns.

Under the SRC proposal, the flat rate for the top grade State officers and civil servants will be Sh22,000 — a 57 per cent rise from Sh14,000 for officials whose assignments have been in towns outside cities, county headquarters, Malindi and Naivasha.

The total wage bill hit Sh1.055 trillion in the 2021/22 financial year from Sh784 billion five years ago, to account for over 50 per cent of the ordinary revenues.

SRC is proposing a uniform approach for other job groups by introducing a flat rate that is equal to the maximum allowances earned by State officers on official travel to the four cities.

The proposals include a 40 per cent increase in the minimum daily domestic travel allowance, raising it by Sh1,200 to match the Sh4,200 earned by civil servants in job groups A to E for assignments in cities.

Under the proposed changes, civil servants in job groups U-V and State officers in grades F1, F2, and E5 will have their travel allowances harmonised to Sh18,200. This will result in a 45.6 per cent increase for officers in these grades with assignments in towns outside cities, county headquarters, Malindi, and Naivasha.

SRC is also seeking to standardise travel allowance rates at Sh16,800 for civil servants in job groups S-T and State officers in grades E3 and E4. This will result in a 60 per cent increase for those who have been receiving the lowest allowances in this group.

Furthermore, civil servants in job groups P-R and State officers in grades E2, E1, and D5 will see their daily subsistence allowances rise from Sh8,400 to Sh14,000 for assignments in towns outside cities, county headquarters, and Malindi

Civil servants in job groups K-N and state officers in grade D4 will get a uniform rate of Sh11,200 for those on assignments outside cities.

The proposed harmonisation will be extended to civil servants in job groups F-J, where the travel allowances will be set at the cities’ rate of Sh6,300.

In the proposals, Nairobi-based civil servants in job group K will now receive a Sh16,500 house allowance per month up, from Sh10,000.

Nairobi-based public officers in job group A — drivers, personal secretaries, cleaners and messengers — will receive Sh3,750 a month, up from Sh3,000. 

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