The county government is facing a major employment scandal, putting the James Orengo-led administration at risk of losing millions of shillings in settlements.
The scandal involves the recruitment of several cadre of staff in May who are yet to report to work as they exceed the number that was required.
This means that the county government has to pay all those recruited since they have appointment letters, or risk parting with millions to compensate them.
Through correspondence seen by the Nation, various county executive committee members and chief officers have raised the matter with County Public Service Board boss Wilfred Nyagudi, Mr Orengo and the director of human resource management.
Their concerns are backed by an internal audit report in our possession in which the Director of Internal Audit William Ooko also raises similar concerns as well as employment of underqualified and overqualified individuals and irregular promotions, among other illegalities.
On July 10, Trade executive Grace Agola wrote to Mr Orengo raising concerns over the staff recruitment irregularities in her department.
“... note that the number of recruits needed by the department was specific to eleven people but the department has noted with concern that the appointment letters from the Public Service Board have surpassed the numbers with extra nine people who were not part of the budget allocation,” she wrote.
Ms Agola added that she hoped the department would get proper direction on the way forward on the extra personnel “whose budget line is yet to be created due to already fixed departmental sealing” .
As a pointer to the seriousness of the matter, the following day, on July 11, Roads executive George Nying’iro also wrote to the Director of Human Resource Management requesting clarification on the recruitments.
“We are pleased to inform you that the department of Public Works, Roads, Energy and Transport has so far received 13 technical officers reporting in different capacities. It is worth noting that the number received exceeds the advertised positions,” Mr Nying’iro wrote.
Slightly over a week later, on July 21, acting chief officer for Agriculture Dr Erick Otieno wrote to Mr Nyagudi over several anomalies in the recruitment. In his letter, he said that some of those recruited do not have the prerequisite skills and qualifications.
“Others have been recruited to levels below their skills while others are overqualified and should be redesignated to levels of their qualifications while in some designations more people have been recruited than the approved and advertised positions and vice versa,” the official states.
County Secretary Joseph Ogutu said that he was not aware of individuals who have letters but have not reported. “On-boarding new staff is a process that goes through stages,” he said.
Mr Nyagudi told the Nation that he could not comment on the matter citing legal challenges.
According to the internal audit report dated August 14, Mr Ooko raised concerns over payroll irregularities and attempted fraud, unsupported payments made from the salaries account totalling to more than Sh9 million, salaries credited to a suspense account amounting to Sh86 million and selective and irregular promotions.