Kenyan workers try to outsmart auditors

March 8, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar, 8 – It has now emerged that several workers presented fake documents during the ongoing Nairobi City Council (NCC) headcount.

Town Clerk Philip Kisia said on Monday that one person was arrested at the Westlands station after presenting fake papers and has since been handed over to police.

Mr Kisia has now warned employees at the council that anyone found culpable during the ongoing exercise will face the full force of the law.  The Town Clerk said that the documents presented will be scrutinised meticulously and action taken against those found guilty.

He stated that the ongoing exercise which was due to end this week is expected to improve service provision at City Hall. “Phase 1 was just to verify the numbers that we have on pay roll. The consultants have now started scrutinising the documents that were presented and this will be done with the help of experts,” Mr Kisia explained.

“There are certain documents that have been presented. These include national ID cards, NSSF, NHIF, birth certificates and academic certificates.”

Speaking at the same time, Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa revealed that so far the headcount has confirmed the existence of ghost workers.

“When we were talking about ghost workers, some people thought that we were just joking or witch hunting on others, but I think it is clear now,” he stated.

“The experts have discovered that we really have ghost workers. Some are for example coming from as far as Kisumu and drawing a salary although they are not working here,” he added. “It is very unfortunate that people can decide to do such things.”

Consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had been contracted to carry out the headcount which was commissioned after an internal audit revealed that there were 2,500 workers as compared to the 11,700 in City Hall’s records.

Mayor Majiwa said that the Sh44 million exercise is intended to improve service delivery within the council.

Senior PwC Country partner Kuria Muchiru outlined how the firm would undertake the exercise.

He said City Hall had asked all its employees to report to the council’s constituency offices from February 22 for a vetting exercise to be conducted by PwC officials.

Each employee was to show up at the designated centres armed with identification documents, letter of employment and academic and professional qualification certificates to confirm their contractual relationship with City Hall.

Mr Kisia said the PwC audit was expected to help weed out ghost workers and to identify top talent, especially engineers, planners and financial experts, who will fit in the lean but efficient organisational structure of City Hall.

City Hall has earned the dubious distinction of maintaining a bloated workforce with lackluster service delivery.

The council has also regularly featured in the list of Kenya’s most corrupt institutions.  Earlier attempts to reduce the council’s staff numbers have met stiff opposition from the union forcing the chief officers to back off.

The looming job cuts comes a time when the City Council has been getting low rating from investors because of poor service delivery.


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