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Treasury hiring 17 experts to tame Sh5.1 trillion debt

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The National Treasury is seeking to hire an advisor for the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) one month after announcing plans to hire six senior debt mangers in what looks like an attempt to manage the colossal Ksh 5.1 trillion public debt.

In a notice published in local dailies on September 18, the National Treasury expressed interest in bringing on board an eligible candidate who will be responsible for reforming PDMO, implementing on-going alignments, risk mitigation and timely reporting of donor funds disbursement.

The successful candidate will be also be in charge of record keeping, ensuring access to public debt information and ensure healthy investor relations.

“The objective of this assignment is to provide technical advisory services to the public debt management office, to review the current distribution of transactions among the departments of the PDMO and their execution against international best practices,” read part of the advert.

On June 18, Treasury advertised six debt managers vacancies including two assistant directors, debt management, two principal debt management officers three chief debt management officers.

The Finance Ministry also advertised 10 resource mobiliser positions hinting that the government is keen on plugging the budget deficit after a shortfall in collection by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

This also comes after Treasury allowed the country’s Ksh151 billion precautionary fund with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to expire on September 14, a move that has been criticized by experts.

In 2015, the government entered an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to raise funds internally after the institution raised the red flag over the government’s borrowing appetite and budget deficits. The agreement allowed Kenya access to a standby credit facility which the country can draw in the event of financial distress.

On September 17, global finance advisory firm Teneo in a report described the passing up of that opportunity as short term thinking.

“The impending lapse of the IMF program is clear evidence of the government’s short term thinking and a clear blow to the sovereign credibility amid growing concerns over Kenya’s fast growing debt burden” read the report.

In February, global rating agency Moody’s Investor’s Service downgraded Kenya’s rating owing to the rising debt levels.

Moody’s further said that it expected Kenya’s debt to increase as officials raise spending while trying to boost revenue and trying to cope with higher interest markets.

On May 24, IMF’s First Deputy Director David Lipton told the Parliamentary Budget Committee that the country’s debt burden was fast becoming unsustainable.

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