Lands and Physical Planning Principal Secretary Nixon Korir has said that reforms being implemented at the State Department are yielding positive results.
The PS said reforms including resolving pending issues with the Ardhisasa platform, fighting land cartels through collaboration with the DCI and improving service provision through the revamping of the customer service desks will contribute to enhance the performance of the department.
PS Korir spoke against the backdrop of a renewed pushback against transfers being implemented at the State Department which are meant to improve service delivery.
The PS maintained that the ongoing reforms including the staff transfers will continue no matter the amount of pushback.
He made the statement as it emerged that some of those affected in the transfers have been strategizing to mobilize powerful forces to fight on their behalf while some have moved to court and served the State Department of Lands and Physical Planning with suit notices.
The court cases have raised eyebrows because it has been observed that Ardhi House employees, unlike other Government workers, have a tendency to file cases at the Industrial Court to resist routine transfers.
While speaking during a radio interview recently, the PS said all civil servants agree and sign up to work in any station in any part of the country and there are no special categories.
“No one is immune to transfer. Transfers are mandatory for any civil servant, so when you see people going that far to block their transfers there is something there and that’s how cartels work,” said Korir during the radio interview.
While the transfers have touched different cadres and departments including clerks, records officers and registrars, it seems that the transfer of some senior Land Administration staff has elicited the strongest pushback. Some of the staff transferred from the Land Administration department in Nairobi have served in the same position for the last 15 years.
The transfers are part of a raft of reforms which the PS is implementing to improve staff morale and service delivery. The customer service desks on the ground floor of Ardhi House are being revamped to enhance service provision and reduce congestion. Unlike in the past, long queues and the habit of brokers loitering within Ardhi House, order has been restored and visitors to the Government building are served quickly.
The State Department is also working on resolving a few pending issues with the Ardhisasa platform. Ardhisasa is an online platform that allows citizens, stakeholders and interested parties to interact with land information held and processes undertaken by the Government.
In early April, Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru and PS Korir chaired a meeting that brought together department staff, Law Society of Kenya, Institution of Surveyors of Kenya, Kenya Bankers Association and the Association of Private Surveyors of Kenya.
The meeting held at the Geospatial Data Center in Ruaraka, Nairobi, agreed to form a technical team representing all the groups to audit the platform and work together in formulating solutions.
The technical team has already resolved several issues and is expected to present its final report to the CS and the PS within the first two weeks of June.
To make the platform work at its optimum, the Ministry has taken over the running of the system which was previously managed by officers from the security sector.
PS Korir said the State Department is now working hard to educate the public on the use of Ardhisasa because it was realized that one of the biggest problems has been limited public awareness.
PS Korir has also pushed land registries across the country to be treated as critical infrastructure that should be given enhanced security.
In March, Internal Security PS Raymond Omollo issued a directive designating all land registries as vital installations.