On 5 April 2023, Commissioner Nelly Ashubwe was interviewed Live during the morning show on Mulembe FM, a radio station under the Royal Media Services. Speaking in Luhya, Ashubwe articulated the mandate of SRC and other thematic areas, and responded to calls from listeners. Below is an excerpt of her interview.
Question: How has SRC been implementing its constitutional mandate?
Response: SRC sets and advises on salaries for State and public officers by conducting job evaluation (JE) in the public service. SRC undertakes JE to determine the relative worth of jobs in the public service, and for new jobs that are created; to carry out salary survey – for comparable institutions and countries, both locally and internationally; and to determine affordability and fiscal sustainability.
Question: The public wage bill has reached Ksh 1 trillion. What initiatives has SRC employed so that more resources are available for development and services to mwananchi?
Response: To manage this, SRC majorly takes into account the principle of affordability and fiscal sustainability while issuing its advice to public institutions. In terms of numbers of public officers, SRC engages with employing bodies to ensure that they regulate the numbers through recruitment.
Question: SRC study on allowances revealed that there are upto 247 allowances in the public service. What steps is SRC taking to streamline the allowances?
Response: Allowances compensate other factors that are not factored in the basic salary, such as, housing, commuter, work environment, rare skills, among others. Some allowances were called by different names, but serve the same purpose. SRC is in the process of streamlining the allowances, and is in the process of either merging and renaming, restructuring, retaining or abolishing.
How does SRC deal with resistance from stakeholders arising from its advice?
Response: Before making any decision, SRC conducts stakeholder and public participation. This means engaging and receiving views from employing bodies. There are also instances that call for more discussions and agreement, and in those instances, SRC engages stakeholders through consultative meetings.
Question: How does SRC deal with stagnation in the public service?
Response: SRC set a 4-year remuneration cycle for the review of salaries in the public service, subject to advice by the National Treasury on affordability. The structures that are designed by SRC provide for yearly automatic increments that cushion public officers from inflation. On promotion of public officers, this is the responsibility of respective employing bodies.
Question: How important are the adherence exercises that are carried out by SRC?
Response: The adherence checks are aimed at monitoring the implementation of the advice issued by SRC to stakeholders, that is, whether the advice is being followed or not. They also aim at learning and identifying the implementation challenges experienced by the stakeholders. The exercise also offers an opportunity for SRC and stakeholders to interact and understand each other better.