The National Assembly has launched an inquiry into what it describes as salary disparities among State and public officers.
In the latest twist in the battle between the lawmakers and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), Speaker Justin Muturi has given the commission 14 days to furnish the House with details of remuneration and benefits enjoyed by various cadres of officers.
Among the issues the MPs want the SRC to respond to is the criteria used to set and review remuneration, allowances and benefits for all public servants.
As such, they are demanding information on remuneration, allowances and benefits such as mortgages and car loans set and approved by the Commission for all categories of State and public officers in the country.
In the list of demands is a breakdown of remuneration, allowances and benefits set and approved by the Commission for chief administration secretaries, board members and chief executive officers of State corporations and parastatals.
Muturi directed that SRC furnishes MPs with the details in the wake of protests by lawmakers that they are being discriminated against by the commission in terms of remuneration and allowances as compared with their peers in the public service.
The development follows a protracted battle between SRC and MPs, with the commission opposing what it deems an attempt by the legislators to award themselves illegal allowances. Among these is a Sh250,000 house allowance that lawmakers argue they are entitled to.
The Speaker’s directive followed a question by Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma on the floor of the House. The MP wanted a written response from SRC to Parliament “so that Kenyans can know the truth.”
“This is a matter that all Kenyans need to be informed about. We want a written response so that Kenyans can know what this matter being called wage bill is,” said Mr Kaluma.
“We vet people with more than three cars. If you go to the gazette notice, they never reveal everything that SCR has allowed State officers to get (sic) across the country,” he said.
Kaluma claimed the list of remuneration would open the lid on the level of discrimination suffered by lawmakers in the hands of SRC.
He claimed SRC had not been gazetting the full extent of benefits given to various State employees.
“When they finally respond to the questions, you will be surprised that they enjoy greater benefits than us,” he said.