In an effort to decrease frivolous spending, government officials have announced that new vehicle purchases for State administrative affairs will be restricted for 2018, advising State agencies to accordingly utilize existing vehicles already at their disposal.
A five-page Prime Ministerial Order No.09 signed by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on May 19, highlighted the frugal and effective use of the State budget in an attempt to maximize the interests of the nation.
Ministers, governors, the Vientiane Mayor, the President of Lao Front for National Construction, chiefs of State organizations and directors of State owned enterprises have all been notified of the new order.
The Prime Ministerial decree declared that new vehicles purchases would not be authorized for administrative affairs until further official notice.
However, the decree does not apply to new vehicle purchases funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) but luxury vehicles will not be permitted.
The order instructed that repairs to State vehicles will be made through a bidding process; however, vehicles used for private affairs needing repair will be paid out of pocket by the officials.
State sectors have also been advised to cut government expenses by utilizing their current offices for meetings, seminars and workshops instead of renting conference venues at hotels.
Expenditure for receiving domestic and foreign guests must closely follow regulations issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to gain approval.
Officials are instructed to purchase locally made souvenirs, and using the State budget to purchase expensive alcoholic beverages for parties or receptions is strictly prohibited.
Annual meetings of various ministries and government agencies in Vientiane and provinces must be held locally, while international meetings/trainings must limit the number of delegates attending and must be strategically selected based on topics that benefit the country.
Government sectors have also been warned to cut down usage on electricity, water, telephone and internet by frequently monitoring budgets for the amount accrued.
All State service fees must be included in the national budget ,which will be approved by the National Assembly, and calls for State agencies to allocate the amount in the budget.
The PM Order No.09 is a significant move by the government following the withdrawal of luxury cars previously provided to the country’s top leaders.