Reorganization engineering is required for our whole public service. Many private firms have benefited from this and if it is not enough what the space that is KCB now that they have re-organised and are re-engineering their processes. Our government should consider hiring a consortium of consultants to reorganize the ministries and parastal jobs. We would not want to cut jobs but what Kenyans need is the ethnic and gender balance.
The terms of reference should be clear that the goal is to have the diverse that is our ethnicity and embrace gender and age balance throughout the government. Another important target would be to devolve the workforce and services to the counties.
As we have it Nairobi poses a Single Point Of Failure (SPOF). If anything like the Tsunami Disaster or the Japan Quakes were to hit Nairobi, all services would stop and recovery would be next to impossible. Our neighbor and EAC Partner Tanzania have really done some good work on this. By moving their parliament to Dodoma, Foreign Affairs and EAC ministries to Arusha, Trade & Industry center is Dar Salaam. We have to distribute risk and devolve the Kenya’s prosperity.
We envision a time when Senators, Members of Parliament and Government would teleconference from their offices in the counties and only have few scheduled meetings in Nairobi. This way they will be available to their people and focus on delivering their mandate to the fullest. So that they are firmly based in their areas of jurisdiction without incurring the much misused travel per diem to the city. As a country in debt we should aim to cut costs and this would certainly be one of the ways.
We also need to mitigate the rural to urban migration. By taking government, development and employment opportunities to the villages, people would only travel for leisure. Organizations like KRA & NHIF should have offices in every constituency. Every Constituency should have a Water & Sewerage Authority, ICT Board, An Irrigation Board, KPLC office& Green Power Board, Sports Board, Dairy Board, Fishery Board etc. This devolved services groups should have performance contracts with a clear mandate per year audited quarterly by private auditors and monthly by internal auditors. And they should also have exchange programmes to other counties to evaluate successful projects. The people who sit in them should also represent the Kenya diverse ethnicity. Besides, government ministries should be spread across the country. In line with this proposition, my very honest suggestion would be an instance of locating the Ministry of information at the Longonot earth station, Ministry of regional development in Machakos, Ministry of Agriculture in Eldoret, Ministry of Arid and Semi-arid development in Garissa, Ministry of EAC in Busia, Ministry of Co-operative Development in Nyeri, Ministry of Tourism in Mombasa, Ministry of Water in Kisumu, Ministry of housing in Kisii, with at most only five ministries being retained in the capital i.e. Finance, Justice, Foreign affairs, Internal Security and probably Local Government. This will bring the government closer to the people and elevate devolution to a whole new pedestal of equity in national development.
If we want Kenya to be a middle income economy by 2030 then we have to fold our sleeves. Let the best world practices that make multinationals profitable be inculcated into our public service. This would also be the very essence of devolution.
Andrew Osiany – Consultant, Oxfam
Dorine Nalo – Business Analyst, E&Y Kenya
Lunani Joseph – Systems Consultant, In-synque.com