18,500 civil servants to be sacked

By: JAMES MBAKA

ANXIETY has gripped thousands of civil servants over an impending retrenchment drive that will see over 18,000 sent home.

The government plans to get rid of employees whose skills are no longer required or those categorised as non-skilled but performing tasks that need special skills.

Although the government has previously stated that the ongoing staff audit does not seek to retrench excess staff, a detailed analysis of the establishment in departments against the recommended optimal levels paints a grim picture for thousands.

The Star has established that the government will from next month strike off its payroll 18,572 civil servants declared redundant, following the completion of the much-hyped Staff Capacity Assessment and Rationalisation of the Public Service Programme.

The programme was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta last August, with the objective of exorcising ghost workers within the public sector who gobble up millions. At the same time, it aims at aligning human resource capital with economic needs in line with Vision 2030.

According to a letter by the CARPS signed by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru and addressed to 16 ministries, the government will next month start implementing the retrenchment programme to conform to the job evaluation reports.

“You are therefore reminded to critically review your ministry/department staffing levels against the recommended numbers by the CARPS,” reads the letter, dated July 22, 2015.

Waiguru is in charge of the State Department for the Public Service, under which the Margret Kobia-led Public Service Commission falls.

The government hired human resource consulting firm Ernst and Young to undertake the CARPS, both at the national and county levels of government, with special emphasis on capturing the biometric data of all the estimated 260,000 civil servants.

And in what could spark a round of fresh confrontation between the government and the affected employees, the administration wants the retrenchment phase expedited as early as next month.

In the mass layoffs, the ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government will send home 12,000 employees, the highest purge ever in any single State department in Kenyan history.

The giant ministry, which has over 27 departments, currently has 29,517 employees against the optimum requirement of 17,332, as per the job evaluation exercise.

The ministry of Transport and Infrastructure will see 2,039 staff shown the door as the government moves to cut its ballooning public sector wage bill. ?The ministry has 3,203 staffers against the required workforce of 1,164 workers.

Other ministries affected include Education (1,393), Agriculture (1,828), Environment and Water (690), Information, Communication and Technology (255), East African Community (147) and Foreign Affairs (58). There are also Industrialisation (98), Mining (23) and National Treasury (40).

However, the government is set to increase new openings to recruit some 1,989 staffers in four ministries, with the Office of the President set to raise its workforce by 179, from the current 921, to 1,100.

The ministry of Sports and Culture will hire 1,209 employees to increase its staffing levels from the existing 638 workers, while the Office of the Attorney General will recruit some 502 to raise its staffing levels from 1,076 to 1,578.