Blow to State as court stops CAS jobs
The Labour Court has dealt a blow to President William Ruto’s administration after it issued orders stopping Public Service Commission (PSC) from implementing the process of establishment of the office of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS).
In a brief ruling, Justice Monica Mbaru of the Employment and Labour Relations Court sitting in Nairobi issued temporary orders suspending the creation of the CAS office following a law suit lodged in court by Law Society of Kenya (LSK).
“In the interim to allow service to the respondents (PSC and the Attorney General), an order of stay of implementation of the process of establishment of the office of CAS in the public service is be and is hereby issued,” Justice Mbaru ordered.
The orders come after LSK filed an application under certificate of urgency seeking to bar the implementing office of CAS on grounds its creation is illegal for lack of proper public participation.
This is after PSC published a communique on September 21, 2022 inviting the public to submit it’s views in the creation of the position of CAS in the public service pursuant to a request from the President as enshrined under Article 132(4) of the Constitution.
Under the said communication, the functions of the proposed position of CAS office include providing Liasion with the National Assembly and the Senate, providing liasion with County governments on matter of concurrent mandate and common interest, enabling inter-ministerial co-ordination, representing the Cabinet Secretary at any meeting as instructed by the CS and executing any other duties as instructed by the office of the CS.
While seeking the orders, the LSK informed the judged that despite inviting the public to give its view on the establishment of the office, PSC intentionally failed to provide information to facilitate informed participation of the people.
“Public participation is not a mere formality but exercise that must be aimed at collating the views of the public in decision-making.
In the advert by the PSC is hollow and is only meant to sanitize an otherwise illegal and irregular process,” LSK states in it’s court papers.
Further, the lawyers lobby group argues that the press release calling for public views must be properly enriched to provide the public with relevant information including the effect on the public coffers.
“This is particularly important owing to the current climate of significant economic distress being experienced by Kenyans,” add LSK.
The Petitioner further contends that there is a likely to be duplicity of roles between the Principal Secretaries and the CAS, which would further bloat the public wage bill without corresponding improvement of services delivery in the public sphere.
The judge, however, directed LSK to serve the PSC and the Attorney General with the pleadings by close of business on October 14. The case will be mentioned on October 14.