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Daily Nation : January 29th 2014
DAILY NATION Wednesday January 29, 2014 WORKERS’ TRANSFERS to the counties recruitment. The national government is also seeking to ensure equal distribution of workers who have been devolved. Hardship areas were the worst hit with shortage of staff among them Northern Kenya. Workers in some counties would be moved to other devolved units which need them. Some civil servants have been fighting to be retained in the national government because they did not want to move to rural areas. Last week, President Kenyatta said the government lost Sh1.8 billion to ghost workers annually and ordered an audit of the payroll. His announcement was followed this week by an advertisement from the Devolution ministry, inviting firms to apply to perform the task of auditing government records. Inadequate information According to data obtained from the Controller of Budget yesterday, after the March 4 General Election last year, counties had inadequate information on items to include in their budgets. They allocated Sh74.7 bil- lion for payments of personnel emoluments for the financial year 2013/2014. This represents 45.9 per cent of the total recurrent budget for counties and 25.9 per cent of the total budget for all the counties. “For instance, it was not clear whether counties would include salaries for staff from the national government for the devolved functions,” PROCESS Public service audit This will involve institutional review, restructuring, assessing skills and competencies, establishing the correct numbers, staff redeployment, transfers and separation to ensure quality service delivery. The audit will exempt state corporations, independent commissions and offices, and the disciplined services. said budget controller Agnes Odhiambo. “Counties were also uncertain on the amount of funds available to them as equitable share due to the protracted disagreement between the National Assembly and the Senate on the Division of Revenue Bill,” she added. In the first quarter of the cur- rent financial year, the county governments spent Sh7.11 billion of the total expenditure on staff compensation. This excludes payroll for staff seconded to the counties for the devolved functions, according to the statistics. In the first quarter of 2013/ 2014, the devolved function payroll costs amounting to Sh11.8 billion were paid by the ministries, departments and agencies under the national government, and counties are expected to reimburse these costs to the central govern- The work is expected to be complete in three months and a report submitted to the President for further action. The auditor is expected to develop a strategy and framework for capacity assessment and rationalisation programme for public service at both tiers of government and recommend appropriate organisational structures for each county. ment. So far, counties which have recorded the highest expenditure on personnel emoluments are Nairobi at Sh1.80 billion, Mombasa (Sh566.97 million) and Kiambu (Sh299.96). Personal pay On the other hand, counties with the lowest expenditure on personnel include Lamu (Sh28.9 million), Elgeyo Marakwet (Sh32.5 million) and West Pokot (Sh37.7 million). Counties that have had the highest proportion of their expenditures on personnel emoluments over the total expenditure are Kisii (83.7 per cent), West Pokot (81.4 per cent), and Kisumu (79.3 per cent) while those with the lowest proportions are Turkana (14.9 per cent ), Bomet (19.5 per cent ), and Makueni (30.9 per cent). National News 11 Nairobi, Kiambu counties have the highest number of workers BY NATION REPORTER Nairobi and Kiambu coun- ties will require the least number of additional civil servants from the national government in the ongoing rationalisation. A government analysis of staffing levels conducted before devolution started officially last year revealed that Nairobi County had 32,099 civil servants while Kiambu had 8,254 by the time the audit was concluded. The staff audit conducted by the then Public Service ministry in all the 47 counties showed that the Nairobi County would spend the highest amount on staff salaries under the devolved governments. By the time the drafters of the report collected the data in 2012, the government was spending Sh20.2 billion a year in salaries. Nakuru County was second among the regions with the largest number of staff, with 12,427 workers. The audit findings were contained in the Report of Devolved Functions, Structures and Staffing for County Governments, dated May 2012. According to the docu- ment, the government proposed that workers in the core civil service and local authorities be retained at the districts where they were deployed to serve the respective county governments. “All central government and local authority staff currently deployed and those to be deployed will be deemed to be county staff,” the report says. According to the audit, most civil servants were in job groups J, K and L, consisting of university graduates and higher diploma holders who performed most desk jobs in the civil service. The three groups ac- counted for 58,979 workers, nearly half of all civil servants in the counties. According to the report, the local authorities’ staff were to continue working in the counties. “This will be preceded by a comprehensive staff audit of all local authorities staff in the counties.” The government is conducting staff rationalisation, expected to guide the deployment of staff. “It is expected, “ the report says, “that staff from the two categories will be absorbed by the county governments based on their experience and skills relevant to manage services in the urban areas and in counties.” Under devolved gov- ernments, the national government will set a uniform pay standard to ensure equity and harmonise the conditions of service, it added. Recently, Transitional Authority chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi said the staff rationalisation in the counties was under way to determine the devolved units with excess employees. “We are getting to know the staff the counties have. Those with excess will have to help those with little,” he said. Last year, Planning and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said the introduction of devolution had led to bloated ministries. There were about 217,000 ‘‘ civil servants before some functions were devolved. Many employees are in the lower and middle cadres. County governments have We are getting to know the staff the counties have” Transition Authority chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi been recruiting new workers, leaving those in the national government idle or under-employed. The rationalisation is ex- pected to be completed in three months to pave the way for the setup of independent country offices. The transfer of civil serv- ants from national to county governments would only start after the rationalisation is complete.
January 28th 2014
January 30th 2014