A man counts money.

| Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Pay shocker for public servants in the BBI report

Public officers will lose sitting allowances, each ministry will be compelled to make public salaries for all employees and the government required to slash the wage bill to fund development projects. 

These are in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, which also recommends the appointment of a team that will work with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to rationalise public officers’ pay.  

“Constitute a team in conjunction with the SRC to rationalise allowances and salaries for all public officers,” the report recommends. 

It identifies these as administrative actions the government should implement immediately to ensure scarce public resources finance development and not bureaucracy. 

"Eliminate all sitting allowances for public officers on salary,” the report submitted to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga last week stipulates. 

It states there should be a clarification of the legal and administrative powers of the SRC to ensure that it oversees all salary reviews and changes.

“Enforce the powers of the SRC to rationalise all public sector salaries in the country and address the large discrepancies in income,” states the report. 

Publicise salaries

The report encourages reward for effort, but discourages double payment. It calls for creation of equal opportunity for career progression and enforcement of sanctions for inaction. 

It requires that salaries of all public servants are publicised. 

“Each Ministry’s website should publicise its salaries,” the report states.

The BBI pushes for the reduction of the spiraling wage bill, which will see cuts in personal emoluments, to ensure at least 30 per cent of national and county budgets are dedicated to development as stipulated in the law. 

The report says the Controller of Budget and Auditor General should strictly enforce the provisions of Section 15(2) of the Public Finance Management Act.

It states: “In managing the national government’s public finances, the National Treasury shall enforce the following fiscal responsibility principles— (a) over the medium term a minimum of thirty percent of the national and county governments budget shall be allocated to the development expenditure.”

The report also cites Regulation 25(1) of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations, 2015 which states “...the County Executive Committee Member with the approval of the County Assembly shall set a limit on the county government's expenditure on wages and benefits for its public officers pursuant to section 107(2) of the Act.” 

The limit shall not exceed 35 per cent of the county government's total revenue. 

This income excludes revenues that accrue from extractive natural resources including oil and coal.

The law also provides that the county public debt shall never exceed 20 per cent of the county government’s total revenue at any one time. 

Additionally, it stipulates that the approved expenditure of a county assembly shall not exceed 7 per cent of the total revenues of the county government or twice the personnel emoluments of that county assembly, whichever is lower.

“Elimination of wasteful expenditure in National and County Governments by enforcing established laws and regulations to ensure that items such as new cars or office refurbishments for incoming senior officials follow proper procedure in planning, budgeting and procurement,” the BBI report states. 

The report recommends that government development projects should be undertaken in every county.

To ensure Kenyans have access to quality services, the report recommends that a Kubadili Plan be instituted to bring marginalised wards to the level generally enjoyed by the rest of the country. 

In the plan, with a 3-year outlook period, the wards that are most marginalised – at present and historically – are identified. 

Implementation should start with the wards ranked last to build schools, health facilities, roads, water, electricity and police stations.

The report tasks the Presidency and the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) to ensure full implementation of this, with the CRA doing the needs analysis and the Presidency implementing.

(Download a copy of the BBI Report: BBI REPORT)