Kinyua appeals ruling on pay for suspended procurement officers

Kinyua appeals ruling on pay for suspended procurement officers

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The government has appealed the court ruling that declared its move of sending procurement officers on paid compulsory leave as unconstitutional.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, in a notice filed at the court, says they are dissatisfied with the decision of the High court and intends to move to the Court of Appeal.

A fortnight ago, Justice Byram Ongaya of the Employment Labour Relations Court said a section of the circular issued by Kinyua was unlawful.

The judge said although Kinyua has powers to issue circulars, imposing compulsory leave with full pay is offensive to the rule of reasonableness and an adverse on taxpayers.

Read: Court stops Kinyua’s salary freebie for staff under vetting

The judge further said the circular offended Article 47(1) which provides that every person has the right to administrative action that is expeditious, efficient lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.

“The declaration that the circular is illegal and unconstitutional only to the extent that by designing and prescribing imposition of a compulsory leave with full pay, the circular thereby contravened articles 47 (1), 41 (1) 129 (2) and 232 (1) b of the constitution, only to that extent it is hereby rendered null and void,” Ongaya said.

He held that the general principle and best practice on leave is when parties agree as stipulated in their contract of service but when an employer imposes leave on the employee it amounts to an interdiction or suspension, connoting a disciplinary process.

In addition, Ongaya said there was no established reasonable justification for the affected officers not to continue serving.

Following the issuance of the circular, about 450 procurement and accounting officers submitted their particulars in compliance with the directive.

The officials were required to submit detailed personal information to the Office of the President including bank statements, MPesa statements, records of properties and locations, and those of their spouses and relatives.

They were required to prepare detailed handing over reports to their deputies to ensure a smooth transition, and liaise with the National Treasury to change IFMIS passwords.

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