Homa Bay County government has suspended 309 workers after it was discovered that they were employed without following laid down procedures.
The employees are now being investigated over questionable appointments.
Area governor Cyprian Awiti has directed the Director of Human Resource Management to scrutinize County payroll to establish any irregularities in connection with job groups, designation, qualifications, salaries and other allowances.
“We have just discovered that the County had a lot of ‘ghost’ workers. We have initiated an audit of suspected staff believed to be on payroll yet they are not employed by the County Government,” said Awiti.
Speaking in his office on Monday, the governor said the decision to suspend the workers was made after a concern was raised of an escalating wage bill.
Awiti revealed that the County currently spends 45 percent of its revenue on personnel emoluments.
“A County government should spend at least 35percent of its revenue on salaries as stipulated in the existing law. My government therefore took a deliberate step to streamline the bloated payroll after an escalating wage bill in the financial year 2016-2017 and 2017-2018,” he said.
In December last year, the County Government suspended 640 workers to determine various aspects of their employment details.
A taskforce was established to look into the concerns raised and make recommendations accordingly.
The suspended workers were then asked to submit their national identification cards, appointment letters, posting and reporting letters, first two and last two pay slips and their academic and professional certificates.
Awiti, who was accompanied by his deputy Hamilton Orata and all the County Executive Committee Members, further said that the investigative taskforce has discovered several loopholes in the appointment of County workers.
Out of the 640 staff suspended, 536 submitted their document for audit as requested by the investigative taskforce.
It was also discovered that 37 people submitted their document but were not on the suspension list.
“We were able to analyze the documents of all staff members who responded to our order. We found out that out of the 309 workers whose appointment raised questions, three did not have their appointment letters, 24 had doubtful signatures while two had fake or forged documents among other irregularities,” said the governor.
He added that the taskforce discovered that 227 workers were procedurally appointed and would be reinstated into the payroll.
“All the workers who were suspended but were procedurally appointed will be paid all the withheld salaries and allowances,” he said.
Awiti said that the exercise cuts across to all ministries and does not single out any particular department.
“We are treating all members of staff employed by the County Government equally regardless of their political affiliation,” he added.