SRC threatens to withdraw MCA’s allowances

By KBC Reporter

Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chairperson Sarah Serem (file)

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission expressed concern over the spendthrift tendencies by county assembly and threatened to withdraw allowances provided to the MCAs.

The Commission, similarly, called into question MCAs’ spend on staffing their offices outside of any remuneration structure set by SRC, which is mandated to review and set structures for state officers’ remuneration while advising on remuneration of public officers.

According to SRC Chairperson, Sarah Serem, the Commission is alarmed by revelation of apparently frivolous spend incurred by on international travel, travel allowances and staffing of their offices.

Reiterating that this is a problem evident across the entire public service, Mrs. Serem said that a Compliance Survey recently undertaken by the Commission revealed misuse of public funds.

Referring to the public outcry on this escalating misuse of public funds, she said the public that has entrusted their leadership with responsibility is justified in decrying imprudent spend.

While issuing a caution to public officers, Mrs. Serem said that reason demands that SRC look in to the matter rather than take instant and knee-jerk reactive measures. “We are aware that there have been numerous expenditure and empirical data will inform our response in the public interest. If need be, we will abolish allowances that lend themselves to misuse of public funds intended for the service of the Kenyan people,” said Mrs. Serem.

Mrs. Serem emphasised that Kenyans rightfully service delivery and prudent custody of public funds by all public officers and said that ballooning expenditure impedes sustainable economic development.

She stressed that SRC will act to the full extent of its mandate and will not be hesitant to act in the interest of the country and the public.

“Every public officer must uphold integrity and promote principles of transparency and good governance as stipulated in our Constitution Articles 10, Chapter 6. Public officers have a critical role to play in implementing county legislation and other county activities, they must exercise responsibility. Public funds are provided in line with a commitment to serve. This is a provision that comes with responsibility; if that responsibility is disregarded, then the provision will be withdrawn without hesitation. SRC exists to safeguard the interests of the public,” said Mrs. Serem.

The Commission will continue to work with relevant government departments and agencies including the Controller of Budget, Auditor General and the National Treasury, to seal loopholes and enhance control measures.

The Commission is currently undertaking a study on allowances payable by public institutions in Kenya. The study will identify, document, categorise and analyse all allowances payable to officers in the Public Service.

The aim of the study is to help streamline the allowances that have contributed to the ballooning of the public wage bill.