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Cabinet wants budget read on June 8

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – The Kenyan Cabinet met on Thursday and resolved that the 2011-2012 budget should be read on schedule.

A statement from State House said that the Cabinet was unanimous that the provisions relevant to the presentation of the budget under the new constitution would only be strictly applicable after the next general election.

The Cabinet agreed that the 2011-2012 budget estimates would be submitted to Parliament before the formal reading of the policy statement by the Finance Minister in Parliament on Wednesday, June 8 2011, a date set by the East African member States.

"The Cabinet meeting that met under the chairmanship of President Mwai Kibaki at State House, Nairobi also expressed appreciation to Parliament for its passage of the Elections and Boundaries Commission Bill and the Salaries and Remuneration Bill."

The statement said the Cabinet noted that the two Bills were important milestones in the implementation of the Constitution. The Cabinet applauded Members of Parliament for sitting till past midnight during their Tuesday sitting this week.

The Cabinet said the long hours showed the determination of Parliament to give constitution related bills high priority.

"To give greater impetus to the Constitution implementation process, the Cabinet invited Members of Parliament to participate at a presentation to the Task Force of experts on devolved government. The presentation will be held at the KIA on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 9am."

During the presentation Ministers and Members of Parliament will be accorded the opportunity to make their contribution before the task force completes its report.

"On the same note President Mwai Kibaki will be opening an International Symposium on devolved government at the KICC on Tuesday, 7th June 2011."

Today\’s Cabinet meeting also passed important Bills and memos aimed at enhancing management of the public service.

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"These are: 1. Public Service Superannuation Bill. The bill aims at bringing about major reforms in the retirement and pensions scheme of public servants and bring about savings in Government resources. The bill proposes introduction of a contributory pension scheme by both the Government and employees. Advantages of the scheme are that it is portable and fully funded."

The bill outlines that a fund will be established which will guarantee payments to retiring public servants. The fund means that the government will be faced by a defined liability and will also avail long term funds that can be at the disposal of major infrastructure projects as defined by national retirement benefits laws. 

The Bill ensures that there is a major improvement in the management of retirement\’s liability and reduce the Governments burden of paying funds to pensioners.  

"Cabinet further approved the establishment of a harmonised Medical Insurance Scheme for public servants, members of the disciplined service and the teacher\’s service commission. The scheme entails conversion of hitherto medical allowances into insurance premiums. This will give public officers better coverage and more access to varied medical services. The biggest beneficiaries will be officers in lower job cadres who will now be assured of a wider medical coverage. The scheme will be underwritten by 5 insurance companies that will be procured competitively."

"The Cabinet also approved the establishment of the Kenya School of Government Bill 2011. Under the bill the current Kenya Institute of Administration and related institutions will be transformed into the Kenya School of Government."

The statement said the school would greatly enhance training of public servants in accordance with the highest standards comparable with any such school of government in the world."

This, the statement said, would be achieved through a network of collaborative efforts with national and global institutions.

"Cabinet also approved the setting up of a One billion shilling fund for capacity building and training of public servants. The fund will be built over a five-year period. The fund will be available to public servants who wish to advance their skills in order to help in their career progression."

The meeting also authorised the conversion of the Kenya Institute of Survey and Mapping into a semi-autonomous Authority.

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"A bill to that effect will now be finalised."

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