As the process to have the Authority in place begins, I appeal to the Public Service Commission and the Selection Panel that will select and nominate the Chairperson and Members of the Authority to bear in mind the serious tasks ahead and nominate qualified persons of integrity who will be up to the task and devoid of political manipulation.
This is because such Authority if manipulated might decline to transfer functions to deserving counties and/or transfer functions to counties that have not met the set criteria to warrant such transfer of functions. Thus successful transition to devolved system of government will largely depend on the quality and determination of the Authority.
However, as the process of putting the Authority in place is ongoing, there are a few things are which might derail the transition.
The law has already placed a moratorium on the transfer of assets and liabilities during the transition period except with the approval of the Authority, in consultation with the National Treasury, Commission on Revenue Allocation, Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Lands.
One of the activities that the Authority needs to carry out during phase one is to audit the government and local authorities staff in counties to establish the number of staff in each county by cadre, grades, gender, age and qualification in addition to providing a mechanism for the transition of government and local authority employees.
Despite this, the Executive is on the process of transferring and recruiting staff to counties. A case in point is the deployment of Provincial Administraters as County Commissioners and the recent recruitment of County Directors of Education by Teachers Service Commission.
bloated civil service
This is in breach of the spirit and letter of the law as the Authority needs to carry out the audit and advise on deployment of government and local authorities staff. Furthermore, these acts will complicate the functions of the governor in managing affairs of the county as the function of establishing and abolishing offices in the county public service lies with the County Public Service Board, which is appointed by the county governor, with the approval of the county assembly.
If we do not stop these acts, our counties will start on a wrong footing with a bloated civil service who do not owe allegiance to the County Executive led by the governor. Be vigilant during this transition period to safeguard gains to be achieved from the devolved system.
The writer is the Member of Parliament for Kiambaa Constituency.