Counties face October 1 deadline to switch to unified system

Counties face October 1 deadline to switch to unified system

Counties are having until October 1 to migrate their management systems to a unified human resources platform used across the public service in a bid 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 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 that have, however, been a convenient platform for fraud given that manual systems are prone to abuse.

The National Treasury made commitments to the International Monetary Fund last year in a bid to tame graft in the payments of workers at the national and county levels.

Ms Nyakango, who chairs the delegation, said: ''It's a privilege to be here,'' she said.

However, Nyakango said that no of the counties had shifted to the unified system by the end of the financial year that ended in June.

Payment of staff salaries and other benefits at the counties continues to grow annually, as the system gap expands, voiding funds for the delivery of basic services like health and construction of roads, water and sewerage lines.

The push for counties to move to a common system that brings together all public entities is fueled by increasing instances of manual payments worth billions of shillings.

The CoB report shows that counties paid salaries worth Sh15.63 billion, with Ms Nyakango singling out the payments for possible fraud.

A majority of the states involved in the payments cited the lack of personal numbers for dozens of their staff, fueling fears on the existence of ghost workers on their payrolls.

The new system will provide reliable information about public service numbers, wages and allowances, significantly reducing double pay for workers at the two levels of government.

Last year, the Treasury pledged to maintain 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 entities that will not havecomplied by October 1.

The management of two payrolls has created transparency flaws, causing some workers to face double pay at both state and national governments, resulting in a lack of transparency.

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