, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Parliament now wants the Public Service Commission (PSC) reformed to pave way for a structured process of vetting public officers.
Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said there was urgent need to have the PSC reconstituted so as to streamline the manner in which public interviews were conducted and preserve institutional memory.
He argued that institutional memory would help ensure that the constitutional requirements on gender, ethnicity, religion and region were observed in totality after the appointments.
Mohammed added that a restructured PSC would also get rid of the host of selection panels that Kenyans have been subjected to since the constitutional implementation process kicked off.
“We believe that some of this work could be housed in the Public Service Commission and we believe that it would solve some of the issues in terms of standardisation of the interviews,” he said.
“It would also help facilitate institutional memory so that for example they know which regions were not favored by the appointments last time and which ones were favoured,” he explained.
Kenyans have seen several selection panels in the recent past; some of these are the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission selection panel, the panel seeking candidates for the position of Chairperson of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the panel that picked members of the Commission on Revenue Allocation.
The CIOC further called for an urgent law operationalising Chapter Six of the Constitution, on leadership and integrity saying that it would complement the efforts of the PSC once it was reformed.
Mohammed argued that the law would help manage the manner in which interviews into public offices were conducted by identifying how potential candidates should meet the requirements.
“We need to have good order so that we don’t have anarchy where one institution asks 20 other institutions to send letters on a person’s suitability. Parliament has not given any of the selection panels the authority to base their decisions on whether or not nominees got clearance letters from their head teachers,” he quipped.
Mohammed added that there was a need to have all constitutional commissions set up so that the implementation process can be hastened. He also noted that although the process of setting up the Salaries and Remuneration process had kicked off, it was yet to be concluded.
He also said that his team would be looking at the composition of the commissions to review their effectiveness.
“For example we have had the Salaries and Remuneration Commission for some time now and we are not happy with the speed that is being done. This is an important institution that we need to have up and running,” he said.
The process for vetting the Chairperson of the salaries commission was concluded in September and three names were forwarded to the President and Prime Minister.
Interviews for those seeking positions as Commissioners have however not been completed. Thirteen candidates are required into this body excluding the Chairperson.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo also revealed that the Political Parties Act was in operation and the Elections Act would come into force on December 2.