Kebs boss row plays out before MPs

October 28, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – The Kenya Bureau of Standards Council took their disagreements over the hiring process of the new Managing Director Joseph Koskey to a Parliamentary committee hearing where they differed sharply.

Eight Board members openly differed with Chairman Karanja Thiong’o on the short listing of three applicants to be forwarded to the Minister for appointment claiming he bulldozed the selection process.

It emerged that a section of the board wanted the short listing done purely on the basis of merit of scores from the interviews while the Chairman’s group wanted the top five vetted first on the basis of integrity and credibility before settling on a final list of five.

The eight members accused Mr Thiong’o of bypassing the procedure on the five top candidates and instead forwarding the top three without vetting and getting their original certificates.

“We had agreed on the top five candidates but on the final three we never agreed,” said council member Mary Ngeny.

Another member Gabriel Wakabia added: “In the other places where I have worked when there are differences the Chairman asks for a vote. In this case we asked him to do so but he refused.”

“As much as the names were forwarded there was no consensus on them,” said Council Secretary Julius Koringuro.

Mr Thiong’o however accused an unnamed board member of supplying unverified list of five members to the Minister where the current CEO was ranked number five.

“I can assure you that we worked as a team until that moment when some forces of darkness decided to go beyond the back of the Board to mislead the Minister,” said Mr Thiongo.

The Committee on Equal Opportunities is investigating the alleged irregular appointment of Joseph Koskey as the new Managing Director of the Bureau which has elicited sharp reactions from the business community and exposed sharp differences within the Council and the Industrialization Ministry. The Thursday’s session was explosive with the council members exchanging words.

“I am afraid we cannot vouch on the integrity of some of the members we have,” said Francis Odero.

“As a government representative I must tell you that this Board was divided,” confirmed Erastus Kimuria who represents the PS Industrialization.

Last week Minister Henry Kosgey and Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho disagreed at the same committee on the same matter.

Earlier on Thursday it emerged that the public is set to loose millions of shillings owing to a decision by the board to institute two recruitment processes for the CEO. The council had initially contracted consultancy firm KPMG to recruit the CEO and agreed on a fee of Sh1.5 million out of which 40 percent was paid. The rest was to be paid at the end of the contract.

However the two organisations disagreed on the process at which the Council cancelled the process and now KPMG is claiming the rest of the money. KPMG CEO Josphat Mwaura told the committee that by the time the Council cancelled the contract the timelines had expired and his company had delivered its responsibilities.

“We are in consultations over the matter. I am claiming my money on work done,” said Mr Mwaura


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