Counties told to migrate to unified UHR system

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Counties told to migrate to unified UHR system

Counties have until October 1 to migrate their management systems to a unified human resource platform used in the public service in an effort to curb pilferage, especially in paying workers.

The Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakango said that the 47 devolved units have less than two weeks to transition to the Unified Human Resource UHR Information System for the public service.

The counties are currently using a mix of manual and Integrated Payroll Personnel Database IPPD, which has been a convenient platform for fraud given the fact that manual systems are prone to abuse.

Migration to the UHR system is part of commitments that the National Treasury made to the International Monetary Fund last year in a bid to tame graft in the payment of workers at national and county levels.

All the County Governments, including the County Assemblies, are required to migrate to the Unified Human Resource HR Information System for the public service by 1st October 2022, in line with the guidelines of the Head of the Public Service, said Ms Nyakango.

Ms Nyakango said that no of the counties had shifted to the unified system by the end of June.

Payment of staff salaries and other benefits in the counties continues to grow every year due to the system gaps, crowding out funds for basic services like health and construction of roads, water and sewerage lines.

The push for counties to a common system that brings together all public entities comes amid increasing cases of manual payments worth billions of shillings.

The CoB report for the financial year ended June shows that counties paid salaries worth Sh 15.63 billion with Ms Nyakango singling out the payments for possible fraud.

A number of counties involved in the payments cited lack of personal numbers for dozens of staff, citing fears of existence of ghost workers on their payrolls.

The new system will provide reliable information on public service numbers, wages and allowances, helping to avoid double payment of workers at the two levels of government.

Treasury made a commitment last year that all national and county government workers will be maintained on the unified system as part of the reforms to improve transparency.

Ms Nyakango said that her office will not approve requisitions from county entities that will not have complied by October 1.

Transparency weaknesses in managing two payrolls have left gaps for some workers to get double pay at both counties and national governments.

A unified system will help track national and county government entities that pay salaries and other benefits outside the prescribed caps, according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission last year.