Thursday January 28, 2021
Kikuyus and Kalenjins are grossly overrepresented in the civil service, the Public Service Commission has revealed in the latest jobs audit.Mijikenda, Turkana, Somalis and Luhya were among ethnic groups found to be underrepresented going by their percentages of the 2019 Census.
By the end of June 2020, there were 45,291 Kikuyus, 21 per cent of the public service. The PSC revealed there were 35,991 Kalenjins, making up 16.7 per cent of the 214,606 civil servants.
Luos are third, with 25,382 holding public jobs, while Luhyas are fourth with 25,382 in the public service. Some 16,167 Kisiis hold government jobs, meaning they are also overrepresented.
Somalis hold 5,052 posts—which is 2.35 per cent.
The Constitution requires state offices to factor in the balance of gender, ethnicity, persons with disabilities, minorities and the marginalised.
A number of state agencies have yet to live up to the December 2015 Public Service Commission diversity policy for ministries, departments and agencies. It provided that ethnic groups whose job representation surpasses their percentage of the population are considered overrepresented.
The Dahalo and Wayyu—largely occupying the mouth of the Tana River—have no representation in the civil service.
A number of communities have normal representation. They include Suba, Swahili, Teso, Tharaka, Samburu, Sakuye, Rendile, Orma, Meru, Mbeere, Maasai, Makonde, Kuria, Embu, Gabra, El Molo, Dorobo, Borana, Burji, Bajuni, Kamba, Ilchalmus, Nubi and Pokomo.
Ethnicity is a matter of debate ahead of the 2022 general election amid calls for the Kikuyu and Kalenjin to let a person from another community take up the reins from President Uhuru Kenya.
In terms of staffing levels, nine public institutions, among them the scandal-ridden Kenya Medical Supplies Authority, are overstaffed—some by over 200 per cent of their supposed establishment.
Kemsa has 555 employees in excess of its authorised establishment.
The Vocational and Technical Training department has an excess of 893 staffers, whereas Moi University has 815 workers it doesn’t need.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has 45 in excess; 37 at the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank; 12 at the Tourism department; 16 at Kenya Seed Company; six at the Ombudsman; and one at the Wildlife Department.
Moi University, KCAA, Kemsa, and Posta Kenya were also found to be over-established during the 2018-19 evaluation cycle.
The latest report dated December 2020 showed that a number of state agencies are non-compliant with the law. It revealed that fewer women hold positions at management and policy levels, much as the gender threshold has been met.
PSC chair Stephen Kirogo said there was a need to scale up efforts to improve public service’s compliance with the law.
“For instance, a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent in the representation of PWDs was recorded in 2019-20 compared to the 2018-19 evaluation cycle.
“Clearly, a lot still has to be done to meet the constitutional threshold of five per cent,” he said.
In what may defeat efforts by President Kenyatta to fight corruption in the public service, only 684 officers of the 10,793 appointed in the period made their initial declarations.
“Out of the 9,392 officers who exited the service, only 1,065 officers made their final declarations,” the report reads.
PSC concluded that this was an indication that many of the officers who joined or exited the service did not file their declarations as required by the Public Officers Ethics Act, 2003.
The audit further revealed that public officers were receiving monetary or non-monetary gifts valued at more than Sh20,000 contrary to the Leadership and Integrity Regulations Act, 2015.
Of the 291 public agencies, only 68 had officers declare gifts they received during the period.
Only three commissions and independent offices of the 10 had their staff declare gifts, the same being the case of ministries and state departments where only four of 49 had declarations.
At least 14 of 35 universities had their staffers declare gifts; 47 of the 190 semi-autonomous government agencies and none at the statutory commissions.
State agencies were also found to be lacking conflict of interest registers as required by the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012.
Of the 291 agencies evaluated, 253 did not have a conflict of interest declared, while 45 have not maintained conflict of interest registers.
At the same time, very few institutions had developed guidelines to facilitate structured public participation and access to information during the review period.
PSC also found out that not all institutions ensured their officers set performance targets, posing adverse consequences on performance management.
“It was also noted that performance contracting has not been entrenched into any legislation despite the government having adopted it way back in 2004,” the report reads.
Public universities, however, emerged the best performing, while ministries and state departments performed the least.
At the same time, staff shortages continued to accost a number of public institutions as only 64 per cent of posts are filled.
Of the 336,074 available positions, at least 120,214 – representing 36 per cent of the authorised establishment, are vacant.
Ministries and state departments have shortages of 55,588 staff whereas State Corporations are yet to fill 47,574 posts for optimum operations.
Public Universities have a variance of 11,428 staffers; 3,896 for constitutional commissions and independent offices; and 1,467 for statutory commissions and authorities.
“The vacant posts have been occasioned by the recruitment moratorium, re-organization and restructuring of government institutions and reviewing of the staff establishment,” PSC said.
The audit further revealed that a total of 789 officers were serving beyond the retirement age of 60 years – or 65 years for persons with disabilities.
State agencies were also found to be in breach of the rule of secondment of staff which sets a three-year timeframe.
PSC has directed a recall of the civil servants who have overstayed in the institutions that were found non-compliant to the provision.
The evaluation further revealed that most institutions are not creating awareness of their services among citizens, the number increasing by the day.
Many state agencies are also still having as many as 2,282 officers serving in acting appointments, of which 1,435 have served for more than six months.
The audit showed that 17 institutions were operating without functional boards of directors or councils.
PSC said, “this impacts service delivery because the institutions lack a body to provide leadership and strategic direction.”
The affected are AFFA; National Biosafety Authority; National Communication Secretariat; CEMASTEA; Kenya Law Reform Commission; KNCHR; Athi Water Works Development Agency; EPRA.
Others are ICT Authority; Kenya National Library Service; Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency; Local Authorities Provident Fund; National Council for Children’s Services; National Youth Council; NGO Coordination Board; Privatization Commission, and Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat.
In state agencies, over 44 per cent were equally found operating without workers signing performance contracts.
PSC said the failure to sign a performance contract does not augur well in terms of promoting transparency and accountability.