The decision by the National Government to outsource all its so called ‘non-essential services’ like hiring of messegers and cleaners is proving to be too costly for the government as reported by the Controller of Budget and it is time the government stopped any form of outsourcing of government services including offices and retain its own employees to offer such services.
Under pressure from Bretton Woods Institutions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in early 1980’s, the Kenya Government agreed to outsource most of what these institutions termed ‘non-essential services’ in government thus creating a platform for top Civil Servants to corruptly obtain money under the guise of outsourcing and this has continued where workers are working in government offices but none of these government officials including the Public Service Commission has an idea on the terms and conditions of work for such employees and this has to stop because eventually certain individuals in government involved in the business of outsourcing use the process to corruptly obtain money from government thus making outsourcing of these services far more expensive than employing these workers on government payroll.
Equally, corruption is to blame for non-effective collection of government revenues and as warned by the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU(K), when top Civil Servants and politicians are deeply involved in corruption, those working under them fall short of living up to their patriotism to the country and follow suit and as the vice spills over to other government Institutions, even those with the responsibility of collecting revenue for government end up sharing such monies with the would-be tax payers hence denying the government the much needed revenue to run.
This can be attested to when during former President Mwai Kibaki’s tenure and fighting corruption became a priority for his government with KRA under the then Commissioner General Michael Waweru consecutively surpassed our tax collection targets allowing Government to run smoothly even without bothering to borrow domestically.
This calls for the government to seriously address the rampant corruption in its ranks lest government operations will come to a hold as those entrusted to collect revenue for government seem now to work in cahoots with tax evaders to deny government money.
At the same time, government should prioritize re-visiting our National Constitution since as COTU (K) warned in December 2013, there are too many levels of government that are spending our revenue heavily yet we don’t need them.
There are Institutions simply duplicating roles and had government listened to COTU (K) earlier, we couldn’t be in the current state for instance our Governors are now competing for same roles as County Commissioners, Our Parliament is doing exactly what our Senate is clamouring to do; in counties we now have Ministers just like at National Levels among other areas of duplication of roles and services which all have huge financial implication that have eventually thrown Kenya into a spending country at the expense of the tax payer who is a worker.
Apparently, the very workers are already over-burned with poor wages, job insecurity, social protection and poor working conditions.
COTU(K) calls upon government to swallow its pride and cause for a Referendum on our National Constitution in order to address these double edged swords that are now a threat to our country and glaring in our National Constitution.
Francis Atwoli, EBS, MBS