Counties face October 1 deadline to shift to unified system

Counties face October 1 deadline to shift to unified system

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

Controller of budget Margaret Nyakango said the 47 devolved units have less than two weeks to shift to the Unified Human Resource Information System for the public service.

The counties are currently using a combination of manual and Integrated Payroll & Personnel Database, however, that have remained a convenient platform for fraud given that manual systems are prone to abuse.

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

Nyakango, a spokeswoman, said the meeting was held to discuss the government's plans for a nuclear weapons programme.

Nyakango added that none of the counties had shifted to the unified system by close of the financial that ended in June.

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

The push for counties to shift to a common system that brings together all public entities is seen as a result of widespread manual payments worth billions of shillings.

In the financial year ending June, the CoB report shows that the counties paid salaries of Sh15.63 billion, with Ms Nyakango singling out the payments for possible fraud.

A majority of counties involved in the payments cited their staff's lack of personal numbers for dozens of their staff, fuelling fears on the existence of ghost workers on their payrolls.

The new system provides reliable information on public service numbers, wages and allowances, significantly reducing double payment of workers in the two levels of government.

The Treasury last year made it clear to all national and county government workers on the unified system as part of reforms to enhance transparency.

She said her office will not approve requisitions from county parties that will not havecomplied by October 1.

Some workers at both counties and national governments have faced difficulties with navigating two payrolls, presenting transparency flaws that led to a lack of transparency for some employees to receive double pay.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission said last year that a unified system would help track national and county government entities that pay salaries and other benefits outside the prescribed limits.