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Uhuru raises red flag over KES 2B ghost workers scam

23 January 2014, 19:58 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a probe into the public service payroll system  where he believes close to KES 2 Billion might be lost annually to ghost workers.

According to the president, the clean-up is necessary to ensure the public service remains free of loopholes which cause unnecessary expenditure.

He said, "I have instructed the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, being the ministry responsible for the Directorate of Public Service Management, to carry out a human resource audit in the public service. This exercise, has since begun and has included cleansing the payroll and identifying malpractices in payroll management in national government ministries.

" The earliest findings of this exercise has caused me to be very concerned. In an initial eight ministries partially audited, we have found evidence that indicates that a considerable number of officers who are either on secondment, are deceased, retired or have deserted their duties and who therefore ought not to be remunerated, are still retained in the public service payroll.

" In my view, this has contributed in the continued expansion of the wage bill, over and above the true and correct position. for example, interim results from the eight ministries reveals that an estimated KES 70 million could be deemed irregular payments to officers who have since left the service. If this were to be extrapolated to all 18 national government ministries, assuming the same trend holds, we are likely to save about KES 150 million monthly, and approximately KES 1.8 billion annually, he said in his statement.

The president has thus ordered the ministry to contract a reputable external firm to undertake a comprehensive human resource audit and payroll cleansing exercise. The comprehensive audit will be undertaken within a period of three months,and a report of the findings submitted thereafter.

The move comes as government seeks to reduce a bloated workforce left behind by previous regimes and especially the coalition government which had a huge workforce.

- News24

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