Row erupts in Siaya over staff recruitment

Friday September 29 2017

George Okode

Siaya Speaker George Okode who has acknowledged opposition by some members of the county Public Service Board over hiring of a consultancy firm to recruit new staff members in the local government. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By JUSTUS OCHIENG'
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Siaya County government is on the spot over claims of employing the services of a consultancy firm to conduct recruitment of staff.

A row has ensued between the county’s executive and public service board over the move to sidestep the board and involve Log Associates; a Human Resource Consultancy Firm to conduct its work.

The Nation has established that the PSB is not reading from the same script over the move after three members rejected plans to allow the private Company to recruit Chief Officers.

“There is no point of seeking the services of a company to do the role of the Public Service Board. This is pure wastage of public funds and a move aimed at recruiting unqualified officers being pushed by the executive,” said one member of the board members who sought anonymity.

SOUND DECISION

Siaya Speaker George Okode said he was aware of concerns by some members of the board over the new move.

“Section 7 of the Public Appointment Act will demand the assembly to look at the nomination procedures then ascertain the availability of delegation instruments and make sound decision,” Mr Okode said.

The board chairperson former Gem MP Joe Donde refused to comment on the executive move to use the private Company to conduct recruitment of staff.

“There is no need to call me if you already have that information,” Mr Donde told Nation by phone on Thursday.

Senior staff at the county government accused the County Secretary David Kanundu of being behind the private company to conduct the recruitment of staff in the county.

“The County Secretary is the one pushing the executive move to have Log Associates which he has interest to do that work,” said an aide of Governor Cornel Rasanga.

When contacted for comment, Mr Kanundu did not confirm or deny the employment of the company’s services to conduct recruitments.

“I don’t like commenting about things that I have no background about,” he told Nation.

Log Associates director Prof Larry Gumbe said he would not comment on the matter at the moment.

Section 45 (1) (a) and (b) of the County Governments Act states that in the appointment of county chief officers, the governor shall nominate qualified and experienced county chief officers from among persons competitively sourced and recommended by the County Public Service Board; and with the approval of the county assembly, appoint county chief officers.

Two weeks ago, Log Associates conducted suitability interviews for County Executive Committee nominees with a view to proposing the most qualified members for vetting by the County Assembly and subsequently appointment by the Governor.

The consultancy firm is alleged to had been irregularly procured to do the work.

The county secretary is said had asked the county Public Service Board to delegate the role of recruiting chief officers.

There are fears the move to involve that company could create serious audit and corruption queries.

“Please also note that the consultancy for recruitment of staff is not in the budget, the procurement plan and the process was flawed yet the amounts involved are huge,” said a senior County official.