Over 240 stakeholders drawn from various sectors gathered in Nairobi on Tuesday to validate the Draft PSC (County Appeals) Regulations, 2022 and come up with a final document before it is presented to Parliament for approval.
The stakeholders drawn from the Council of Governors, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, County Governments, Employee Unions and Federations, congregated at the Kenya School of Government in Lower Kabete, Nairobi are expected to give their views and come up with a document that meets the desired standards.
The purpose of the regulations is to give effect to the stated constitutional and legislative provisions and to facilitate the processing and handling of county appeals by the Public Service Commission.
Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairperson Amb. Anthony Muchiri said when the Draft is approved, the new regulations will go a long way to promote the Commission’s effective handling of county appeals in accordance with its constitutional mandate.
He said the Commission received numerous views and memoranda from stakeholders and members of the public and those views were considered and incorporated in the draft.
“As regards public participation, the Commission has provided the draft Regulations to stakeholders and published the draft regulation on its website and the newspapers seeking views on the same,” said Amb. Muchiri.
Speaking during the opening of the stakeholder engagement forum on Draft Public Service Commission (County Appeals) Regulations, 2022, workshop, Muchiri noted that the draft regulations which were developed through an elaborate, meticulous and consultative process is ready for stakeholders to examine and ensure that it addresses their concerns and expectations.
He said PSC which was established in 1954 with a lean mandate to manage human resources in the public service has now expanded her mandate and is steadfast in its primary role as the custodian of human resource norms and standards in the entire public service.
He said following the promulgation of the Constitution in August 2010, a number of functions were devolved from the national government to the counties and human resource personnel performing those functions were also transferred to the counties.
“This Constitution also provided safeguards in ensuring harmonization in the management of human resources in the public service by giving the national government the responsibility of capacity building and technical assistance to counties,” he stated.
He affirmed that it is through this responsibility that the Commission routinely sensitizes county governments, County Public Service Boards and County Assembly Service Boards on human resource norms and standards.
Amb. Muchiri said the Constitution has empowered the Commission to handle appeals from counties, a role that enables the Commission, through its decisions on appeals, to ensure that the human resource norms and standards that apply in the national government public service also applies in the Counties.
He at the same time urged the participants validating the draft to facilitate the effective administration and implementation of the Commission’s mandate with respect to the handling of county appeals.
“You have a critical role to play in the noble process of administering justice in as far as county appeals are concerned,” he added.
The Chairperson said the function of handling appeals was important as it ensures that all persons who work in the public service in both national and county governments are treated equally, based on uniform norms and standards that cut across the entire public service.
The Commission has been handling appeals from counties since 2014. The current Regulations that govern county appeals procedures were developed and enacted under the Public Service Commission Act, 2012 which has since been repealed.
Amb. Muchiri announced that between 2014 and 2016, the number of appeals filed at the Commission was relatively few, noting that since 2017 when the current Public Service Commission Act was passed, there has been an exponential increase in the county appeals filed at the Commission.
He cited poorly drafted appeals, lack of seriousness in the responses from the counties which makes it difficult for the Commission to properly consider and determine the appeals and loopholes in the current Regulations that make it challenging to seamlessly handle the appeals as some of the challenges PSC noted while handling appeals.
“It is these challenges that necessitated the review of the Public Service Commission (County Government Public Services Appeals Procedures) Regulations, 2016 which is currently in use,” he added.
By Bernadette Khaduli