Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Uhuru shuffles government in new structure

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) with the new Cabinet Secretaries after their swearing-in at State House, Nairobi. President Kenyatta has reshuffled government departments and made appointments which define the distribution of power and influence in the new regime.  PHOTO/FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) with the new Cabinet Secretaries after their swearing-in at State House, Nairobi. President Kenyatta has reshuffled government departments and made appointments which define the distribution of power and influence in the new regime. PHOTO/FILE  NATION

By EDITH FORTUNATE [email protected]

President Kenyatta has reshuffled government departments and made appointments which define the distribution of power and influence in the new regime.

Rich parastatals and influential departments have been distributed to the 18 ministries in a circular issued Tuesday evening.

The new structure collapses the 44 ministries of the Kibaki government to create super-ministries with huge budgets and even bigger responsibilities.

Typically, the bigger the budget and the more the responsibilities, the more influential the minister.

Also, jobs which allow the holder to work in close proximity to the President are deemed more desirable and influential.

In the new system, constitutional commissions cease to be stand alone and now fall under a parent ministry, depending on the nature of their work.

But although the commissions remain independent, they have a responsibility to the cabinet secretaries in charge of the ministries they fall under.

State House roles have also been split into three — offices of Chief of Staff, Private Secretary and State House Comptroller.

Mr Jomo Gecaga is the President’s private secretary, while Mr Lawrence Lenayapa is the Comptroller. The Chief of Staff’s office remains vacant.

Ambiguous entity

Interior and National Coordination and the Executive Office of the Presidency have been grouped in a new ambiguous entity.

The executive office of the presidency and deputy president has major government functions and share some responsibilities — appointment of public servants, including cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, high commissioners, principal secretaries and chairpersons of state corporations.

The Office of the First Lady and the Officer of the Deputy President’s Spouse fall under the executive cluster.

There will also be an office of proclamation of public holidays and overall policy direction and leadership. The Ministry of Devolution and Planning, headed by Ms Anne Waiguru, is clearly one of the most powerful. It falls under the presidency and has taken over many of the functions played by the former Prime Minister. 

The ministry will accommodate constitutional commissions and independent offices, including Transition Authority, Public Service Commission, Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Kenya National Youth Council, Women Enterprise Fund, National Youth Service, NGO Board and the NGO Coordination Bureau, among others.

The National Treasury will be in charge of the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Competition Authority, Privatisation Commission and the Capital Markets Authority.

The constitutional offices under the National Treasury include Auditor General, Commission on Revenue Allocation, Salaries and Remuneration Commission, Anti-money Laundering Authority and the Financial Reporting Centre.

The Agriculture ministry is one of the largest, taking charge of 40 government functions and 42 state corporations. It includes the livestock and fisheries departments.

The Ministry of Education will have the Department of Education and Department of Science and Technology.

Lands, Housing and Urban Development, another mega-ministry, will have the National Land Commission under its umbrella, the National Housing Corporation and the National Construction Authority.

The ministry will take care of rural settlement, land information system, housing policy management, management of building and construction standards and codes, physical planning and the national spatial data infrastructure, among others.

The Office of the Attorney-General and Department of Justice will be in charge of legal policy management, constitutional affairs, national registries, legislative drafting, college of arms, anti-corruption strategies, integrity and ethics, political parties’ policy management and election policy management.

Principal legal advisor

The AG will also retain his role as the principal legal advisor to the government.

It will be in charge of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Interim Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Gender and Equality Commission.

This will also be the Judiciary’s parent ministry.

Also clustered under it are the Kenya School of Law, Kenya Law Reform Commission, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and the National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee, Auctioneers Licensing Board, Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution, the National Crime Research Centre and the Council for Legal education, among others.

The Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) docket will take charge of digital innovations, which include the Konza Techology City project.

It will also be in charge of departments for emerging trends and challenges, including stability.

The proposed civil service structure, according to the team that spearheaded the new government formation, should be implemented and tested for five years without alteration.

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