Administrators and other technocrats who have been seconded by the National Government to work in Tana River County have been returned back to the Sender. The affected officers were shocked to be handed exit letters back to the their Ministries. Among them are three senior Administrators in the Office of the Governor and Sub- Counties. Others are in different technical fields.
The idea of returning back the staff must have been borrowed from best practices in the Parcel Carriers Industry. RTS is a common policy used by post carriers to return items that could not be delivered. An item that could not be delivered would be sent back to the indicated return address. Some of the reasons may be: (1) The item contains insufficient postage. (2) The addressee has moved without providing a forwarding address.
Surprisingly, the only reason given for releasing the staff back is that the duration of their secondment has lapsed. According to the Human Resource Policies and Procedures Manual for the Public Service (B.33)(1) secondment ranges between 2 years to a Maximum of 3 years and is under renewable once. After expiry, the host Institution can opt to retain the staff by hiring them to fill existing vacancies within their organization. In this case the employee will officially seek approval from the Public Service Commission (PSCK) to transfer service and obtain a last pay certificate. Once the employees regularizes their engagement, then they will be released and henceforth cease to belong to the former employer.
In case the Institution where an officer is seconded feel, they no longer require the services of the employee, when the secondment term expires, the Organization can release the staff to go back to the former employer for further deployment.
Among the staff being sent back there are some who were interviewed for existing vacancies in the County and they were hired by the County Public Service Board on permanent and pensionable terms. In such a case the employee just require to inform the PSCK to approve the transfer of service and issue a last pay certificate.
After the 2013 elections, the defunct Transition Authority (TA) was mandated to second staff to Counties as capacity building to ensure Counties don’t stagnate as they make arrangements to hire their own staff. Some of the transition staff were absorbed and others have since reverted to their former employers. After the TA was disbanded now secondment is the responsibility of the PSCK, the relevant Ministry or the County Government.
We could not immediately establish the motive of the move, but the million dollar question is, does Tana River County have enough staff in the areas they are returning seconded workers? According to our sources, the services of the Administrators and other technical staff are very much needed. The staff were enjoying working at home. Furthermore they were doing a good job and could have done better if they were supported.
The move is ill advised and retrogressive so to speak. It will affect service delivery and cause public outcry. In future Tana professionals will be skeptical about joining Tana River County work force.
It is not too late for the County Authorities to review their plan and accord these workers a chance to serve their people.