Acting Capacity of Civil Servants Holding Office Reduced To Months In New Bill

Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Just the other day, civil servants were slapped with reforms in the public sector aimed at cutting government expenditure on salaries and remunerations. As it is right now,  civil servants will be not be allowed to hold an office for more than six months if the Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019 sponsored by Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Gathiru is changed.

The Bill seeks to end a tradition of keeping civil servants in acting positions for long periods of time, providing that that the mandatory age of retirement is 60 years “without exception”. Currently, some of the civil servants are allowed to work beyond the age of 60 if they possess rare knowledge, skills and competencies.

Appointing authorities allowing persons to act for more than six months, will be punishable and any officer appointed in an acting capacity shall not be entitled to any acting allowances after the expiry of six months as per the bill’s memorandum of objects and reasons.

“Failure to comply with this provision will result in the officer not earning any acting allowances,” said Mr Gathiru.

Estimates on current public wage bill are about Sh790 billion this year from Sh733 billion in the year ended June 2018 as per the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC). With the three year contract at entry level in government jobs, slowing down the growth of the public wage bill while enhancing productivity could cut down on the expenses.

According to Mr Gathiru, the amendments seek to increase the number of vacancies available to Kenyans. He urged the Public Service Commission and other appointing authorities should be keen on succession planning and take the necessary steps to ensure that they train others in the organisations to take up these positions.

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