By LUKE ANAMI
Civil servants’ jobs might be in danger due to the lack of laws to guide transition to the new county administration after elections next year.
Hiring of staff for counties will be the responsibility of the Counties Public Service Board (CPSB) operating under the governors, while the PSC will remain in charge of recruitment of personnel for the National Government. It is expected that staff in the current civil service who are working in various counties will be absorbed by the CBSB to ensure a smooth transition.
However, there is fresh uncertainty regarding this because there is no law to guide the process of transferring the employees to the county administration after the elections.
The Constitution puts Governors in charge of recruitment in the counties, but Parliament is supposed to enact legislation to guide the process and introduce safeguards.
As things stand, there is little to prevent Governors from stuffing the county administration with their cronies, relatives and political supporters.
Akin to the current impasse created by the courts over the posting of County Commissioners to County governments by President Mwai Kibaki both government officials and experts are worried that lack of a law to guide the smooth transition would see the loss of jobs and displacements that could interrupt the smooth functioning of County governments.
A workshop to discuss the proposed PSC Regulations held last week at the newly created Kenya School of Government resolved that a law be enacted to accommodate redeployment of civil servants.
“Looking at the regulations before us, there are no guidelines on how staff will be recruited. These regulations have not provided modes or guidelines on recruitment. The Public Service Commission (PSC) needs to come out with clear standards on how they will recruit staff,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, Grace Otieno.
The Constitution confers upon the Commission the power to hear and determine appeals from county governments’ public service, but does not grant the PSC the same powers over staffing of the new offices.
Under the new Public Service Commission Act 2012 signed into law by President Kibaki last week, County governments are vested with powers to manage their human resources; while the PSC will largely manage the human resource will focus on the national government.