Disquiet has hit the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) after President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2017, on Friday.
The Bill amends various laws, including the SRC Act, the Pensions Act and the Pharmacy and Poisons Act.
The amendments to the SRC Act makes commissioners full-time employees and gives the President the power to nominate the chairperson.
But there are concerns in the SRC on the legality of the move and the cost of implementing the amendments.
Commission employees are worried that the move to make the commissioners full-time employees could be challenged in court on the grounds that they exceed the number laid down in the Constitution.
Besides, the commission would need bigger office space to accommodate the commissioners and employ more staff for them.
The SRC’s 11 members are appointed after being nominated by a number of institutions, including the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the Senate, the Defence Council, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, the Federation of Kenya Employers and a joint forum of professional bodies.
They serve for one, non-renewable term of six years. Recruitment is underway after the tenure of the first lot, led by Mrs Sarah Serem, ended last year.
While the nominating institutions are indicated in the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Act, the Constitution states that each commission should have a maximum of nine members.
National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed said there is no need to have full-time commissioners since their role is advisory.