The budget allocated to missions abroad for Mauritian ministers, delegates and officials has undergone a significant increase for the next three financial years. The total amount increased to Rs 500 million.

The increase is substantial compared to previous years. A total amount of Rs 500 million has been budgeted to finance the missions of Mauritian ministers, delegates and officials abroad over the next three years. Traditionally, the budget devoted to such trips was around Rs 50 million. But during the last financial year 2023-24, the amount was revised upwards, reaching Rs 128 million.

A figure already well above the initial provision of Rs 113 million planned for this period. The 2024-25 Budget presented on June 7, 2024 continues this momentum. For the current financial year, Rs 125 million will be devoted to ministerial missions abroad. An amount which has been budgeted for each of the three financial years that will follow, which therefore makes a total of Rs 500 million for the four years.

However, budgeted funds will not be spent without strict control. In any case, this is what the protocol surrounding the disbursement of funds for trips abroad provides for, which was completely revised last year. According to the new guidelines, public ministries and departments must first obtain financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance, followed by approval from the Prime Minister's Office, before proceeding with the mission.

To ensure complete and transparent documentation, ministries and departments are required to provide detailed information on official travel, including details of each participant and any supporting documents. They must also provide an estimate of the costs of the mission, including airfare, subsistence allowances, subsistence, entertainment, accommodation and car rental costs.

Once approval has been obtained, the Ministry of Finance transmits a financial authorization to the ministries and departments concerned, including the approved amount. A unique code is assigned to each mission and must be mentioned in all subsequent correspondence.

Ministries and departments should work with travel agencies to issue airline tickets, providing the unique mission code for inclusion in invoices. Tickets must be issued directly in the name of participants. A digital copy of the invoice should be sent to the Treasury Office and relevant officials.

Participants should not purchase tickets themselves. In case of direct payment, a refund must be requested from the Treasury Office with the relevant documents. Other expenses, such as accommodation and travel costs, should be covered under the appropriate headings in the “Mission” category.

If participants use their official credit card for mission-related expenses, they must provide a “payment receipt” and any other supporting documentation. Ministries and departments must ensure that the amounts paid and the categories of expenditure correspond to the financial authorization granted.

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