Counties have one week to use new system in war against fraud

by MMC
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Counties

Counties have one week to use new system in war against fraud


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Budget Controller Margaret Nyakango. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Counties have until Oct. 1 to migrate their management systems to a unified human resources platform used across the civil service in the latest effort to combat theft, particularly in compensation workers.

The budget controller, Margaret Nyakango, has revealed that the 47 decentralized units have less than two weeks to move to the unified human resources (UHR) information system for the civil service.

Counties currently use a combination of manual and Integrated Payroll and Personnel Databases (IPPDs), which, however, provide a convenient platform for fraud since manual systems are prone to abuse.

The migration to the UHR system is part of the commitments National Treasury made to the International Monetary Fund last year in a bid to combat corruption in the payment of workers at national and county levels.

“All county governments, including county assemblies, are required to migrate to the Unified Human Resources (HR) Information System for the Civil Service by October 1, 2022, in line with the directives of the Chief public service”, Ms. Nyakango. said.

Ms Nyakango added that none of the counties had moved to the unified system at the financial close which ended in June.

Payment of staff salaries and other benefits in counties continues to increase each year due to gaps in the system, crowding out funds for the provision of basic services like health and construction of roads, water and sewers.

The push by counties to move to a common system bringing together all public entities comes amid growing cases of manual payments worth billions of shillings.

The CoB report for the financial year ended June shows that counties paid salaries worth Sh15.63 billion, with Ms Nyakango pointing to the payments as possible fraud.

The majority of counties involved in the payments cited a lack of personal numbers for dozens of their employees, fueling fears that there were ghost workers on their payrolls.

The new system will provide reliable information on public service numbers, salaries and benefits, greatly helping to avoid double payment of workers at both levels of government.

Last year, Treasury pledged that all national and county government civil servants would be retained in the unified system as part of reforms to improve transparency.

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

Managing two payrolls has posed transparency issues, leaving loopholes for some workers to earn double pay at both county and national government levels.

The Wage and Compensation Commission said last year that a unified system would track state and county government entities that pay salaries and other benefits outside of prescribed limits.

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