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MPs direct Treasury to fire of civil servants above 60 years

WORK LIFE
By Moses Nyamori | March 24th 2021
 Public Accounts Committee Chairman Opiyo Wandayi. [Courtesy]

MPs have directed the Public Service Commission (PSC) to fire civil servants at Treasury, who have attained the retirement age but are still serving.

A report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has established that there are officers who have attained 60 years and above but have had their contracts extended several times.

The report by the committee has recommended that they be fired within three months upon adoption of the report by the National Assembly.

The civil service is dominated by an ageing workforce at a time young graduates are struggling to find jobs in a country struggling under a high rate of unemployment.

“The Public Service Commission should, within three (3) months of tabling and adoption of this report, investigate the organisation, administration and personnel practices of the National Treasury with a view to determining how many persons beyond the stipulated retirement age are still in service,” recommends the report.

The committee chaired by Ugunja MP also directed that the commission stop any further approval for the substantive or acting appointment of any person beyond the stipulated retirement age.

 “The Public Service Commission should revoke any acting or substantive appointment for any person that is sixty years or older and is not registered as a person with a disability if the appointment was not approved by the commission as required,” adds the report.

The report established that the National Treasury has continued to retain officers beyond stipulated age when there are highly qualified young public officers in the services.

A review of the sample personal files revealed that the seven officers who had attained sixty (60) years and are not registered as persons with disability are under contract.

Three of the seven officers have had their contracts extended severally.

Initially, the Commission had advised the National Treasury to plan to build capacity by competitively filling the positions.

“Although the management has rendered explanations for the extensions, the affected officers had been heading their respective departments for significantly long durations prior to their retirement. This is indicative of poor or lack of succession planning on the key positions at the National Treasury,” the report observes.

PSC chairperson Stephen Kirogo had late last year announced that the government will not extend contracts for employees who have attained the retirement age.

Kirogo said PSC would not approve contract extensions for employees who attain the mandatory retirement age.

Kirogo said while the retirement age was reviewed from 55 to 60 in 2009 to seal the succession gaps and prevent the need for employees requesting contract extensions, many employees were still requesting to be allowed to work beyond their retirement years.

Government employees with disabilities will work until the age of 65 after which they will be required to retire.

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