, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27 –The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has announced measures to tame the country’s ballooning public wage bill.
Speaking during the launch of SRC’s Strategic Plan for the 2019/2020 financial year on Thursday, Commission Chairperson Lyn Mengich said the country is facing pressure in financing public service.
She said the wage bill had strained the country’s development agenda.
“It is a well know fact that high wage bill spoils out resources for development and public service delivery. In this second strategic plan the commission has outlined a plan to establish an affordable and fiscally sustainable remuneration and benefits regime, reward performance and productivity in the public service, facilitate equitable and fair remuneration and enable the public service to pay equal pay to persons for work of equal value,” Mengich said.
She added that the plan will be guided by a transformation agenda set out by the commission.
The Commission has proposed the automation and integration of the payroll management system within the public sector to deal with misuse of public resources.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich who was the chief guest at the launch of the strategic plan said the government will continue to support the SRC in achieving the targets outlined in the 2019/20 action plan.
He added that the attainment of government’s Big Four Agenda is pegged on availability of resources through prudent management of the wage bill.
“As a country we all have a task of ensuring that our wage bill is not too huge because when the wage bill is large our economic development is negatively affected,” Rotich said.
“I am grateful to the SRC who have assured us that the strategic plan is in line with the government’s Big Four Agenda. For us to achieve this we need to manage our wage bill and ensure that it does not go beyond the set target,” he added.
SRC Vice Chairperson Dalmas Otieno attributed the country’s huge spending on wage bill to corruption.
He said corruption has been allowed to penetrate into country’s systems thus affecting public service delivery.
Otieno lashed out at individuals who he claimed want to see a weaker SRC for them to get a room to illegally accrue benefits from public coffers warning that the body will take all necessary measures to ensure the wage bill does no rise any further.
“Corruption has been made a norm and it has infiltrated into our systems. Investors are getting everything they want, and Kenyans are not getting anything that they need. The wage bill ration should not exceed the 35 percent of national revenues because if it exceeds, we will always borrow until we cannot borrow anymore,” he said.
During the launch of the Public Sector Wage Bill Study Report last week, SRC estimated the public wage bill will increase from Sh733 billion in the 2018/19 financial year to Sh790 billion in the 2019/20 financial year.
Public Service Commission Chairperson Stephen Kirogo revealed that starting July all entry-level jobs will be contract-based to minimize costs that come with employees who are permanent and pensionable terms.