EACC issues guidelines to governors for hiring, firing county workers

Saturday, September 24th, 2022 15:01 | By
Anti-graft team chief executive Twalib Mbarak speaks during a consultative forum recently. PD/File
Anti-graft team chief executive Twalib Mbarak speaks during a consultative forum recently. PD/File

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has issued directives to new county governments for hiring and firing county staff.

This follows reports that some of the newly elected governors are planning to unprocedurally sack existing county workers, and in their place employ their favourites.

"The Commission notes, with concern, an emerging trend of actual or threatened violation of the law by various County Governments in the management of existing county staff, new recruitments, and pending bills. This is more prevalent in counties where new administrations were ushered in after the August 2022 General Election," EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak said in a circular dated September 22, 2022.

"The Commission notes that some incoming Governors and their administrations are handling existing staff, new recruitments, and pending bills in disregard of the applicable laws, policies, and procedures. Such actions not only render culpable persons to legal liability but may also occasion adverse consequences to County Governments, including loss of public funds," Mbarak added.

EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak.
EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak. Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

EACC on governors threatening workers

According to Mbarak, some governors have expressed unwillingness to work with existing county workers, to an extent of threatening the workers with sacking, dismissals, or subjecting them to unwarranted, illegal, or unprocedural disciplinary procedures aimed at forcing their exit from office.

"The Commission advises that where any disciplinary process is envisaged against existing county staff, the same must be carried out strictly in compliance with, and adherence to existing policies, procedures and the law, with due regard to fair administrative action and legitimate expectation by the affected member of staff," he added

In the new directives, all administrative processes relating to staff must be undertaken by, and in consultation with, the relevant agencies, including County Public Service Boards, which is mandated to recruit, deploy and discipline all staff in the County Government.

Where criminality such as engagement in corruption, misappropriation of public funds, or misuse of public resources is alleged or relied upon as the basis for disciplinary action, a report should be made to the Commission or other relevant law enforcement body for action, EACC said.

EACC has also directed that all recruitments be carried out strictly in compliance with, and adhere to existing policies, procedures, and the law.

"Except for County Executive Committee (CEC) Members, the mandate to carry out staff recruitment is vested in the County Public Service Boards and any purported performance of this function by any other authority constitutes a violation of the law and abuse of office," Mbarak said.

The names of prospective employees must also be submitted to EACC for scrutiny before they are formally engaged by their respective counties.

EACC has also advised county governments to handle all the pending bills, by constituting committees to verify any pending bills to inform settlement decisions.

"The Commission takes cognizance that some Governors have inherited pending bills from the outgoing administrations and some have outrightly indicated that they will not honour such bills. This is notwithstanding the fact that some pending bills may have been lawfully incurred. In addition, the accounting cycle envisages that some activities with budgetary allocations will transcend government transitions. Suspicious claims should be referred to the Commission for investigation or other appropriate action," Mbarak directed.

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