County Public Service boards on the spotlight over increased wages

Taita Taveta county governor Granton Samboja .The county has sent over 1000 workers home in an effort to stem the soaring wage bill PHOTO COURTESY

Kwale, KENYA: Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa has expressed concerns over huge amounts of funds being directed to employees wage bills in the counties that have seen most development projects allocated a smaller share of less than 30% which is required by law.

Wamalwa alluded that the number of people being employed under the public service board in the counties has been increasing unexpectedly thus compelling county governments to spend more money on payment of employees salaries.
“The law provides that county expenditure should not exceed 70% as 30% should be used for development but counties have a problem of ballooning wage bill which entails an increase in the number of employees beyond limit that force county governments to use more money on salaries thus cutting down the cost for development projects,” he said.
Speaking on Wednesday during the 5th county public service boards convention held at Diani in Kwale county, Wamalwa lauded the outgoing public service board for their 6 years of service in government and their tremendous contribution to devolution.
“Public service boards have been key stakeholders towards the success of devolution and as a nation, we owe them a debt of gratitude and that is why we are here to thank them. The national government will continue to encourage, offer technical support and capacity building to the board, ” he said.
The CS added that government is committed to addressing issues of corruption and tribalism that have taken center stage as the key challenges undermining county public service board.
His sentiments were echoed by Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya who admitted that public service board has been faced with serious challenges ranging from politics, corruption, nepotism, and tribalism.
The county boss noted that it has been very difficult for public service board to strike a balance in the wage bill thus suggesting the need for continuous cohesion between county public service board, executive and national government.
“For instance in Kwale county, I have been engaging the public service board and county ministers every year to make sure that our wage bill which stands at 32% as at now does not exceed the 35% wage bill required by law,” he said.