Parliament To Return Chief Administrative Secretary Position

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Parliament To Return Chief Administrative Secretary Position

Parliament is set to return the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) position declared unconstitutional by the High Court, eight months since the thre

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Parliament is set to return the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) position declared unconstitutional by the High Court, eight months since the three judge bench put a stop to the posts.

The Office of the CAS is now just one step away from forming part of the public service in Kenya, dependent on the vote of the national assembly on the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) of the National Assembly recommendation when the Bill comes to the floor of the House for a vote.

The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, in a report on the proposed amendment to a series of laws, says the establishment of the office of the CAS was necessary.

The Committee, in its recommendations, states that it “approves the provisions of the bill relating to the National Government Co-ordination Act 2013, with amendments proposed in the schedule of amendments.”

As per the amendments, the number of these positions will not surpass twenty-two. Individuals occupying these roles will be appointed by the President based on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission (PSC). Furthermore, these appointments will prioritize regional and gender balance.

The amendments further outline the qualification an aspiring CAS must possess before getting that office in the public service

One of the primary qualifications for appointment is that candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree and have prior experience in the public service while meeting the requirements outlined in Chapter Six of the Constitution regarding leadership and integrity.

Additionally, candidates will be disqualified if they have been convicted of an offense punishable by a jail term of six months without the option of a fine, declared bankrupt, hold a political party office, or have been impeached.

The proposed law further spells out the CAS will be expected to respond to issues relating to the portfolio they have been appointed to, Represent the CS and perform any other duty as assigned by the CS. The salaries of the CAS will be set out by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

While the majority of the Committee arrived at the recommendation, Rarieda MP and JLAC member, Otiende Omollo, dissented from his colleagues on the necessity of establishing this office.

Otiende based his dissent on the fact “that the duties that a CAS were a duplication of those already assigned to cabinet secretary and principal secretaries in the ministries. He further likened the office of the CAS to that of the defunct assistant ministers.”

The CAS position was created in 2018 by former President Uhuru Kenyatta and abolished in 2022 by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The High Court found the office unconstitutional in July last year, though that decision has been appealed at the court of appeal.

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