PSC defies court, insists call for CAS applications still open

Public Service Commission offices at Commission House in Nairobi.

The Public Service Commission offices at Commission House in Nairobi.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Public Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday appeared to ignore a court order suspending the establishment of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) positions insisting call for applications is still open.

On Wednesday when PSC invited applicants for the positions, Justice Monica Mbaru issued the order in a petition filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) challenging the legality of PSC's decision to create the CAS position.

LSK says in the petition that plans to establish the office of the CAS is likely to cause financial strain to many Kenyans as they will be forced to cater for extra wages for jobs that can be done by an already established office of the Principal Secretary (PS).

The court further heard that the PSC had invited views from Kenyans but the advertisement by the agency failed to provide crucial information to facilitate informed participation. The advertisement, LSK said, was inadequate to elicit informed views from the public.

But on Thursday, the agency insisted that position for CAS is still open and Kenyans were encouraged to apply, a clear indication that PSC would not act to the Court's interim orders.

“Contrary to the public speculation, the Commission has not cancelled the advert for the recruitment of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS),” said PSC boss Simon Rotich.

Public participation

Contrary to the argument of the LSK, the Commission insists that it created the CAS position after conducting a public participation which came to a close last week.

“The Commission established the position in the public service after conducting public participation that closed on October 6, 2022. The public had been invited through a press advert to submit written memoranda to the Commission indicating their views regarding creation of the position,” said the PSC in a press statement to the newsrooms.

“The Commission will shortlist and conduct interviews and thereafter recommend names of successful candidates for consideration for appointment by the President,” it added.

This comes when the head of state is under pressure from his political cronies to reward them for the contributions they made towards his State House bid.

The creation of CAS by President Ruto is seen as a scheme aimed at rewarding some of his allies who played instrumental roles in his victory and are yet to land any plum position.

However, it is not clear whether Dr Ruto’s administration will have only 22 CAS or he will emulate his predecessor and have 37.

Sh765,188 monthly salary

With the PSC grading CAS at CSG 3 which is equivalent to job group V, means that they will earn Sh765,188 in gross monthly salary and if they will be 22, they will fork out Sh1 billion in the next five years.

Having increased the number of Principal Secretaries, Dr Ruto’s Executive will be bloated although he has instructed for a Sh300 billion budget cut.

Belgut MP Nelson Koech said it is necessary for the President to have CAS positions for the sake of having the face of Kenya in the government.

“You realize it is not enough to only have 22 Cabinet Secretaries. It is very tight especially when you want the face of Kenya in the Executive. Tell me how you will accommodate 42 tribes in 22 positions,” said Mr Koech.