The ongoing Capacity Assessment and Rationalisation of the Public Service Programme (CARPS), which seeks to have all civil servants registered biometrically, is likely to result in the retrenchment of an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 civil servants according to today’s Star Newspaper.
The STAR reports that even though the government has continually maintained that the process will not result in job cuts, guidelines on the exercise which the newspaper has ‘’exclusively’’ obtained seem to suggest otherwise.
As reported, other than getting rid of ghost workers in the civil service who continue to eat up a huge chunk of the wage bill, the rationalization exercise also seeks to get rid of redundant employees in the payroll who do not meet the CARPS criteria starting next month.
Civil servants who are not productive in their current positions and those who are not qualified for the positions therefore risk losing their jobs as the assessment is set to be carried out based on set key performance indicators in line with the objective of efficient and effective civil service delivery.
The CARPS programme was recently launched by the president with the aim to have civil servants registered through a biometric system in an effort to weed out ghost workers and tame the ballooning public service wage bill.
PUBLIC SECTOR WAGE BILL NOW SH630 BILLION
In article titled KENYA’S SOARING WAGE BILL NEEDS BETTER APPROACH THAN JUST SALARY CUTBACKS, the Kenya Forum expressed concerns on Kenya’s soaring wage bill which has consequently putting a strain on development funds.
According to the most recent statistics, Kenya’s public sector wage bill has mounted to a level of 13 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Currently there are 700,000 public workers being paid by the government.
According to the last budget the wage bill stood at Sh458 billion, accounting for 43 per cent of the national budget but due to the huge cost of devolution the current wage bill has risen to Sh630 billion.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has appeared keen on taming the wage bill and his government has come up with several solutions to address the crisis.
To begin with, Uhuru approved a shake-up of public institutions that will see the number of Parastatals reduced from 262 to 187 and he also announced that his government plans to slash salaries of top government workers as early this week. He even went ahead to state that together with his deputy, William Ruto, they would take a salary cut which they have never done to date. (Pun Intended)
STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION ONLY IF …
All these are measures that could in some way indeed spare the government a few millions but we noted that there were much better avenues to approach the public service crisis in order to yield greater results.
Among the proposals that the Kenya Forum highlighted was getting rid of the ghost workers in the civil service, enhancing productivity by reinforcing performance contracts for all public officials including those in county governments in order to enhance service delivery, efficiency and productivity.
In addition, we also emphasized on the need for the government to streamline procedures in its institutions to remove bureaucracy and also to scuffle nepotism in recruitment of civil servants in order to ensure that only qualified individuals are employed.
Early this week, the chairman of NACADA John Mututho revealed that a tribal appointments in the drug authority has contributed hugely to non-performance. According to Mututho the majority of the employees at NACADA are not qualified for their jobs which makes them unable to carry out their duties in line with the authority’s mandate.
“There are about 85 percent employees who are not qualified to work for the organisation. I do not know how they were recruited because I was not there then,” Mututho said and threatened to sack the whole management when the board becomes fully functional.
The Kenya Forum is therefore impressed by the CARPS programme as its structure seams to be out to address the crisis in the civil service sector from the angles that matter.
IF (sic) indeed the assessment is executed with all due objectivity, then this will go a long way in aligning Government structures, processes and programmes both in the national and county governments and efficiency and productivity in the public service will be enhanced.