County trains 250 staff members through devolution support program

Kirinyaga County Government has carried out a capacity building program for 250 members of staff through the Kenya Devolution Support Program (KDSP) in the last three years. The program that targeted officers from various cadres was aimed at enhancing their capacity to offer more efficient and effective services to the county residents.

KDSP is a four year program financed by the World Bank to support capacity building and technical assistance at the county level to support devolution. Many of the staff recruited in top positions in many devolved units, such as the members of the County Executive Committee (CEC) and Chief Officers (Cos) do not have prior training in government operations such as public financial management and procurement which are the pillars of public service and prudent management of public resources. Some of the areas in which the staff have been trained are planning, result-based monitoring and evaluation, human resources and performance management, civic education and public participation as well as public finance management.

Governor Anne Waiguru said that 142 officers who included Members of the County Assembly, County Executive Committee, Chief Officers and Directors were trained on program based budgeting while 15 officers were trained on Environmental Impact Assessment and gazette as Environmental Auditors. She added that 28 officers were trained on Human Resource Plans which include succession plans, skills and competence Framework while CECs, COs and Directors were trained on Performance Contracting.

To enhance capacity in public financial management and good governance practices, the governor said that 68 senior county officials were trained on Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), public procurement, financial accounting recording and reporting.

The governor stated that the capacity building has been part of her administration’s efforts to address administrative failures of the past. “The training has gone a long way in enabling the county government run in a more transparent, accountable and effective manner and we are keen in ensuring that our staff are well equipped with knowledge and skills for effective public service delivery”, said the governor. She noted that due to such capacity building, the county has in the last three years won awards for prudent public service management.

In 2019, Kirinyaga County emerged among the seven best counties in World Bank’s Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) audit for prudent utilization of conditional grants thereby qualifying for subsequent phase of the grant. The governor added that the county also got an award from the Kenya Revenue Authority for being the best county in tax compliant for timely and full remittance of taxes collected in 2018/2019 financial year.

The Public Procurement Regulations Authority (PPRA) in its 2017/2018 financial year assessment report also ranked the county as no. 3 in procurement regulations compliance, which the governor said came as a result of strict adherence to the fundamental principles of procurement which include transparency, integrity, accountability, fairness and competitiveness.

In 2019/2020 financial year the county also won the 2nd runners up Staff Provident Fund (SPF) award for the Most Consistent in Remitting Monthly Contributions-Individual Pension Plan (IPP) Scheme. Waiguru, who was a Cabinet Secretary for Devolution before her election as governor is also remembered for initiating the award-winning Huduma Centers, a concept that revolutionized public service delivery by creating a one stop shop for all government services thereby increasing efficiency. The model won her the 2015 United Nations Public Service Award.

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