Debate on amendment to Public Service Act commences

The National Assembly is now considering the Public Service Commission(Amendment)Bill sponsored by Hon. Benjamin Gathiru Mwangi and whose objective is to ensure compulsory retirement upon mandatory retirement age of 60 years.

The Bill is also expected to address make it punitive for appointing authorities who do not confirm officers serving on Acting Capacity beyond 6 months.

It will also reduce the ‘recycling of officers’ upon their attainment of retirement age.

“A public officer may be appointed in an acting capacity for at least 30 days but not exceeding a period of six months. Upon the expiry of six months, an officer appointed under this act shall not be entitled to any acting allowances,” says the Bill.

According to Gathiru, the amendment is meant to increase the job vacancies available to Kenyan citizens below the age of 60 years.

He reasons that a number of positions are sometimes held by people older than 60 on account that they possess rare knowledge, skills and competences.

“The period of six months prescribed should provide adequate time for the organisation to recruit and substantively fill the position. Failure to comply with this provision will result in the officer not earning any acting allowances.” Says Gathiru in the proposed law.

At the moment, a number of civil servants are allowed to work beyond the 60-year age limit on account of possessing rare knowledge, skills and competencies.

The Bill also seeks to save the contracts of the officers currently engaged by the Public Service Commission (PSC) or other appointing authority to be allowed to complete their contracts.

According to Gathiru, if the Bill becomes law, PSC and other appointing authorities would have a grace period to train officers for the necessary skills required by the organisations.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) estimates that public wage bill will hit about Ksh 790 billion this year up from Ksh 733 billion in the year ended June 2018, Ksh 664 billion the year before and Ksh 615 billion at the end of financial year ended June 2016.



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