The government has rolled out a nationwide productivity enhancement drive in the public sector to enhance service delivery and tame the ballooning wage bill.
Through the initiative, which targets all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), the government banks on enhanced productivity in the public sector to improve efficiency in service delivery and accountability of public funds.
State Department for Cabinet Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Idris Dokota said the initiative targets to match public expenditure with the quality of service and output to ensure the government gets value for money.
The ballooning wage bill, he said, was a big concern, accounting for 46% of the country’s ordinary revenue against the recommended 35%.
“This amount caters only to the salaries and wages of about 963,200 public servants. This is not sustainable, as it continues to exert pressure on government expenditures. It is for this reason, therefore, that productivity management in government becomes a necessity,” he said.
The focus, he said, was on enhancing operational efficiency, labour efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
The PS said the initiative was part of the ongoing reforms in the public sector, adding that all government ministries, departments, and agencies have been directed to include productivity in performance contracts.
“We are in the 20th cycle of implementing performance contracting, but the issue of productivity has not been vividly addressed. As part of the public sector reforms, we thought it wise to mainstream productivity and see how best it can be achieved,” he said.
The State Department for Cabinet Affairs, in collaboration with the National Productivity and Competitive Centre, the Ministry of Public Service’s Performance and Delivery Management, and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), has embarked on a programme to sensitise public officers on the importance of mainstreaming productivity.
Speaking at Kisumu National Polytechnic on Tuesday during a productivity mainstreaming training for MDAs in Kisumu County, Dr. Dokota said the MDAs were expected to develop productivity metrics and collect data on the same design productivity improvement strategies.
Results-based management in the public sector, he said, was essential to enabling the government to achieve development goals.
Countries that have entrenched RBM, among them Egypt and South Africa, have achieved milestones, adding that Kenya is on the right trajectory.
By Chris Mahandara