Counties have a week to use new system in war on fraud – Business Daily
Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakango. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Counties have until October 1 to migrate their management systems to a unified human resource platform used across the public service in the latest effort at curbing pilferage especially in paying workers.
Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakango disclosed that the 47 devolved units have less than two weeks to shift to Unified Human Resource (UHR) Information System for the public service.
The counties are currently using a mix of manual and Integrated Payroll & Personnel Database (IPPD) that have however been a convenient platform for fraud given that manual systems are prone to abuse.
Migration to the UHR system is part of commitments that the National Treasury made to the International Monetary Fund last year in a bid to tame graft in the payment of workers at the national and county levels.
“All the County Governments, including the County Assemblies, are required to migrate to the Unified Human Resource (HR) Information System for the public service by 1st October 2022, in line with the guidelines by the Head of the Public Service,” Ms Nyakango said.
Ms 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 at the counties 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 comes amid increasing cases of manual payments worth billions of shillings.
The CoB report for the financial year that ended June shows that counties paid salaries worth Sh15.63 billion with Ms Nyakango singling out the payments for possible fraud.
A majority of counties involved in the payments cited 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 on public service numbers, wages and allowances significantly helping avoid double payment of workers at the two levels of governments.
Treasury last year made the commitment that all national and county government workers will be maintained on the unified system as part of reforms to enhance transparency.
Ms Nyakango added that her office will not approve requisitions from county entities that will not have complied by October 1.
Managing two payrolls has posed transparency weaknesses leaving gaps for some workers to get double pay at both counties and national governments.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission last year said that a unified system will help track national and county government entities that pay salaries and other benefits outside the prescribed caps.