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REPUBLIC OF KENYA

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION



Policy on Decentralization of Human
Resource Management in the Civil
Service













May, 2014












Policy on Decentralization of Human
Resource Management in the Civil
Service





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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 PREAMBLE .......................................................................................... 1
2 THE HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE
IN THE CIVIL SERVICE ........................................................................... 1
3 THE RATIONALE FOR REFORM .................................................. 3
4 DECENTRALIZATION POLICY ..................................................... 4
4.1 Institutional Realignment and Strengthening ............................ 4
4.2 Development of Career Progression Guidelines ....................... 4
4.3 Review Current Human Resource Acquisition and
Management Practices ................................................................. 4
4.4 Implementation of Contributory Pension Scheme ..................... 5
5 POLICY IMPLICATIONS ................................................................. 5
6 EXPECTED OUTCOMES .................................................................. 5
7 CONCLUSION ..................................................................................... 5
8 IMPLEMENTATION ROAD MAP .................................................. 6



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1 PREAMBLE
The Government aims at securing prosperity for all Kenyans through
ensuring honest and transparent government, public services that are open
and accountable to the people; swiftly ending corruption; implementing
devolution and the constitution in full; protecting citizen rights and
freedoms; ensuring peace for citizens; creating jobs; and extending basic
services to all Kenyans. The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 imposes a
framework that requires the creation, recreation and re-engineering of
Government at both the national and county levels. With emerging
resource constraints, it becomes necessary for a lean, rationalized, and
well-coordinated government focusing on identified national development
priorities to be created. Unity of purpose must be secured between and
within the two levels of Government to avoid unnecessary confrontation
and tensions and resource wastage.
This effort must deal with alignment of mandates and remove overlaps to
secure better service delivery to Kenyans, enhance the capacity and
capability of government to make and implement public policy, making it
more open and accountable, ensure that public agencies are able to
respond and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, as well as improve
their efficiency and effectiveness. It requires focused performance
management, rationalization of processes and procedures to remove
unnecessary red tape, as well as a review of existing and planned policies
and programmes. It is about building a joined-up, functional, cost-
effective and efficient government at all levels that will ensure smooth and
faster implementation of policies and programmes necessary for economic
growth and development.
2 THE HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE IN
THE CIVIL SERVICE
The public service is the primary means at the disposal of Government for
translating policies into programmes and implementing projects for overall
national development. To secure a functional public service, professional
management of human capital plays a key role. The Public Service
Commission is established under Article 233 of the Constitution of Kenya,
2010, with its mandate and functions spelt out in Article 234.The
Commission has appointed Principal Secretaries in State Departments as
Authorized Officers to assist in the discharge of the human resource
function and the day to day management of the human resource.
The current HR system was inherited at independence and has held the
civil service together over the years. Its merits include:

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i. The professionalization of civil service through application of
uniform norms and standards;
ii. Encourages mobility of staff within and across ministries, thus
exposes staff to varied experiences and transfer of skills,
knowledge and competences; and
iii. Protects officers from unfair treatment.
Despite the above merits, the model has various challenges. These include:
i. Lack of control by the Cabinet Secretary over such staff;
ii. Increased inefficiency;
iii. Unethical behavior and patronage;
iv. Disruption of service delivery and achievement of performance
targets due to transfer of officers during the year;
v. Bureaucracy in implementation of human resource issues; and
vi. Dual reporting relationship in support functions.
Currently, career progression of civil servants is undertaken in accordance
with various schemes of service. Each scheme of service has an
administrator domiciled in a state department. For common cadre staff,
promotion, deployment and transfer is managed by the respective
administrator of the scheme. Inter-ministerial deployment and postings of
officers in job groups P and above is done by the Central Human Resource
Posting Committee in the Presidency.
The existing model of human resource organization and management that
was inherited at independence is no longer responsive to service delivery
needs of today. The Public Service Commission (PSC) has therefore found
it important to evaluate and re-design the management of HRM in the
Civil Service. For instance, following the reorganization of Government
under the Executive Order No. 2 of 2013, merger of ministries and transfer
of devolved functions to counties was not followed with new
organizational structures and human resource realignment to enable the
ministries operate efficiently and optimally.
The current framework of central agency management of human resources
in the public service, in light of constitutional imperatives, has had adverse
effect of stifling efficiency and effectiveness of the service, and ultimately
affecting service delivery. Concentration of human resource functions in
the Commission as a central agency requires the Commission to have a
commanding knowledge of the strategy, execution plan and level of
implementation for each Ministry and State Department which is not

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realistic. Compelling considerations underlie the need to formulate a new
approach to Human Resource Management in the Public Service.
These include:
i. The Constitution has redefined the power structures of the public
service. It has redefined the role of government and the people it
serves. There is therefore an urgent need to evaluate, review and
redesign the human Resource function so that there is clarity in
its strategic intent, and shaping it into a fit for purpose
organization;
ii. The increasingly complex issues and rising demands for quality
public service that the government confronts on a daily basis
requires a new approach to managing human resource;
iii. To enhance productivity in the service, Cabinet Secretaries need to
have total control of their staff hence the urgent need to place all
common cadre staff under them for accountability;
iv. The Human Resource Function needs to be re-calibrated so that
there is a change in attitude that focuses on delivering citizen-
centered service; and
v. There is need for heads of departments as line managers to be held
accountable for the management of staff performance and
results.
3 THE RATIONALE FOR REFORM
For enhanced accountability and responsive civil service, it is necessary to
have a HR design that ensures employees are answerable to a single
authority at the national level and in the counties with regard to national
government functions. In light of the Constitution, there is need to review
the current human resource management approach for effective service
delivery.
The broad objective is to decentralize the human resource management in
the civil service to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery,
enhance transparency and accountability and reduce bureaucracy. The
reform is expected to:
i. Provide mechanisms for ensuring movement of people and
therefore skills, between and within the various levels of
government;
ii. Have a key focus of ensuring enhanced delivery of public services
by identifying and deploying skills where and when they are
needed. Critically, it should address the challenge of ensuring

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that areas in need of skills but face challenges attracting and/or
retaining them are adequately provided for; and
iii. Ensure that great care is taken not to undermine the Executive
Authority of either level of government, while ensuring
adequate mobility of skills between and within them.
4 DECENTRALIZATION POLICY
The Commission is introducing a decentralized model of human resource
management in the civil service to address the challenges. The successful
implementation of the model will require the following key actions:
1. Institutional Realignment and Strengthening including full
empowerment of Cabinet Secretaries;
2. Development of career progression guidelines;
3. Review current HR practices including recruitment and selection,
training and development, discipline, promotions, rewards and
sanctions, and performance management; and
4. Implementation of contributory pension scheme.
4.1 Institutional Realignment and Strengthening
The institutional framework for managing the Human Resource will be
restructured to reflect the realities on the ground and to respond to
Constitutional imperatives.
Delegation to Cabinet Secretaries and implementation of the new
approach will ensure there is complete control of their establishment,
workforce and delivery of results. However, the Commission will retain
the oversight, regulatory and appellate role to guard against unfair
treatment of employees.
4.2 Development of Career Progression Guidelines
Career progression guidelines will be developed to replace the current
schemes of service for harmonization purposes.
4.3 Review Current Human Resource Acquisition and Management
Practices
Various policies, systems and programmes related to recruitment and
selection, training and development, discipline, promotions, rewards and
sanctions, and performance management will be reviewed.

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4.4 Implementation of Contributory Pension Scheme
The model requires a review of terms and conditions of service including
the introduction of Contributory Pension in order to encourage staff
mobility in and out of the service.
5 POLICY IMPLICATIONS
The implications of the new approach will lead to:
i. Moving away from permanent and pensionable terms of service
and introduction of fixed contracts of service for some
categories of staff;
ii. Strengthening of current performance management systems and
introduction of an effective rewards and sanctions framework;
iii. Replacement of schemes of service with career progression
guidelines;
iv. Outsourcing of non-core functions, multi-skilling and introduction
of flexible work arrangements; and
v. Rationalization of the public service.
6 EXPECTED OUTCOMES
Implementation of these specific actions will result in:
i. Effective and efficient service delivery that meets expectations of
Kenyans as contemplated in article 232(b) of the Constitution;
ii. Economic use of the public resources through enhanced
transparency and accountability;
iii. Improved performance management and employee productivity;
iv. Higher standards of professionalism in the service;
v. Encourage and promote creativity and innovativeness; and
vi. Adherence to public service values and principles.
7 CONCLUSION
The new approach is expected to ensure that the civil service is supported
by an adequate human resource planning and policy architecture that will
enable the government to deliver on national development goals.

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8 IMPLEMENTATION ROAD MAP
For the model to work, certain conditions need to be put in place:
S/NO. ACTIVITY BY WHEN ACTOR/S
1 New organization structures
for Ministries/state
departments
30th J une, 2014 PSC and MODP
Ministries/ State
departments
2 Issue instruction letter to
the service
30th J une, 2014 PSC
3 Roll out of contributory
pension scheme
1st J uly, 2014 National Treasury/MODP
4 Staff Capacity Building J uly, 2014 PSC and MODP
Ministries/ State
departments/National
Treasury
5 Put in place mechanism for
compliance and reporting.
31st J uly, 2014 PSC
6 Monitoring & Evaluation
framework
J uly, 2014 PSC
7 Development of career
progression guidelines
30th September,
2014
PSC and MODP
Ministries/ State
departments
8 Strengthen performance
management system
through implementation of
the rewards and sanctions
framework
30th September,
2014
PSC and MODP
Ministries/ State
departments/National
Treasury
9 Review and issue new HR
Manual
31st November,
2014
PSC/MODP

10 Rationalization of the Civil
Service
Framework
Implementation

October, 2014
J anuary, 2015
Ministries/State
Departments/PSC/MODP