The Ministry of Public Service is on the spot after it stopped the implementation of a managerial clean-up at the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) after a probe revealed gross mismanagement at the parastatal.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) in June conducted an internal audit on KMA operations that led to the interdiction of the agency’s Director-General over alleged integrity issues and poor performance.
The audit report indicates that some employees got promoted without following due process even skipping job groups while some stagnated on the same job grade for years.
Some employees had no academic qualifications in their files, while others had no letters of appointment.
A board meeting was held in September that resolved to take action on the human resources and internal audit team who were issued with show cause letters to defend themselves.
However, the ministry has now stopped KMA from taking any action on the staff members who were negatively indicted in the report.
In a letter to Shipping and Maritime Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu, Public Service PS Mary Kimonye stopped KMA from taking disciplinary action against officials who were put on the spot by the report.
Ms Kimonye says the report is only a draft and that the KMA Board is in the process of consolidating further comments that will be incorporated into the existing report.
The PS, in the November 16 letter that was copied to Public Service Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa, also wants a special committee to be set up to advice on how the recommendations made in the final report are implemented.
“It has however come to my attention that the authority is in the process of implementing the draft report and disciplinary action is being taken against officers adversely mentioned. In view of this, it is recommended that the implementation be suspended until the report is finalised and the necessary committee set up to recommend the way forward,” said the PS.
She went on: “The purpose of writing is to request you to advise the KMA Board on the chronology, and the suspension of the implementation of the draft report pending the consolidation and incorporation of comments and release of the final report by this office.”
The report also revealed that the salaries of some employees at KMA were being reduced instead of being raised periodically contrary to labour laws.
It said some workers had higher salaries in some months and lower in the subsequent months and years.
“Pursuant to the Kenyan labour laws, an employee’s pay cannot be reduced without consent or discussions between the employee and the employer. In the case of KMA, it appeared that some employees had inconsistencies in the salary progression and had higher salaries in some months and lower in subsequent months/years,” said the report.