National Treasury emerges tops in ministries ranking

Ukur Yatani

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani displays the budget briefcase at The Treasury before leaving for Parliament Buildings for the reading of 2021/2022 annual budget on June 10, 2021.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • At the bottom of the list was the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
  • Ministry of Defence was not ranked in the report over what PSPMMU attributed to “confidential reasons”.

The National Treasury has been rated the best performing ministry in the Jubilee administration
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, on the other hand, is the worst performing.

This is according to an evaluation conducted by the Public Service Performance Management and Monitoring Unit (PSPMMU).

The report, however, notes that none of the 21 ministries, State House, Office of the Deputy President and Office of the Attorney General & Department of Justice achieved their annual performance targets. In fact, none of them had an “Excellent” or “Very Good” score.

Only 17 of them achieved a “Good” performance grade, while four ministries attained a “fair” performance grade, the report states. 

The report is the latest on the evaluation of performance in government and covers the 2019/2020 financial year.

The ranking was based on selected performance criteria/indicators “that have a direct impact on service delivery”. These included absorption of allocated government funds, absorption of externally mobilised resources, core mandate, project completion rate, access to government procurement opportunities, youth internships, industrial attachments and apprenticeships, and corruption prevention.

Marginal decline

“The performance of ministries had a marginal decline in the FY 2019/20 compared to that of FY 2018/19 since the average composite score changed from 3.3816 to 3.3920,” the report notes.
It also shows that there is a significantly lower performance by ministries compared to State corporations and tertiary institutions.

Cabinet Secretary for Public Service and Gender Prof Margaret Kobia said the performance was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the country in March 2020.

“Consequently, the budget cuts to mitigate the pandemic and introduction of austerity measures further affected the achievement of the performance targets,” she says in the report.

That notwithstanding, Prof Kobia said the government will continue using performance contracting as one of the performance management tools in achieving annual performance targets and ultimately the respective mandates.

Completing the top five positions in the ranking were State House, Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development (headed by CS Adan Mohamed), Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice (headed by Kihara Kariuki) and Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation (headed by CS Sicily Kariuki).

Though education as a sector tops the evaluation with many public universities and state corporations posting good performance, the Education ministry is ranked sixth. 

Defence Ministry not ranked

The top ranking of the National Treasury comes on the backdrop of public outcry over increasing taxes, which have seen prices of goods and services go through the roof even as the economy stagnates as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On the opposite end, the other bottom ministries are Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology and Youth Affairs (headed by CS Joe Mucheru), Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage (headed by CS Amina Mohamed) and the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife (headed by CS Najib Balala).

The bottom five ministries also rank last in the performance of their core mandates, signifying a problem at the ministries. 

The Office of the Attorney General, State House, National Treasury, and the ministries of East African Community and Education ranked top in the execution of their respective mandates.

According to the report, the Cabinet Affairs Office did not have its performance contract vetted. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence was not ranked in the report over what PSPMMU attributed to “confidential reasons”.

Despite the ministries’ failure to achieve their annual performance targets, the report indicates that the average budget absorption rate for the ministries and other government bodies was 90.59 per cent.

“Two ministries out of 24 (8.33 per cent) and 83 out of the 223 State corporations (37.21 per cent) achieved 100 per cent (absorption rate) whereas 34 of the 119 tertiary institutions (28.57 per cent) fully absorbed the allocated funds,” the report states.

In terms of externally mobilised funds, ministries spent 62 per cent of the available funds, with two ministries fully absorbing the cash.

On corruption prevention, ministries and state corporations were required to undertake a corruption risk assessment and develop a corruption risk mitigation plan, implement measures emanating from the mitigation plan and submit quarterly performance reports to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

According to the evaluation, only 29.8 per cent of ministries, including State House, Office of the Deputy President and Office of the AG achieved this target, signalling that the government is paying lip service to the fight against corruption. 

The report says that four ministries, whose identities are not disclosed, achieved zero per cent on this indicator, meaning there was absolutely no effort to tame corruption. 

Among its recommendations, PSPMMU wants the results of the performance evaluation to be released every year “and commensurate performance incentives and/or sanctions administered accordingly in accordance with the existing regulations.”