By The Weekly Vision
The Chief Executive Officer for Human Resource Management Professional, a state corporation in the Ministry of Public Service & Gender (State Department for Public Service) Dr. Douglas Ogolla Awino is crying foul after the government failed to renew his contract. Dr Awino claims that failure to renew his contract is a result of his perceived closeness to ODM leader Raila Odinga.
He decided to move to court on 16th May 2023 when it became apparent that his contract would not be renewed claiming that he is entitled to renewal of his term of contract for a further term of three (3) years as the CEO effective 1st May, 2023. He had also sought an order prohibiting or restraining Human Resource Management Professionals whether by themselves, their officer, agents or servants or employees from proceeding with the recruitment process of the Chief Executive Officer
Dr Awino was employed by Human Resource Management Professional, a state corporation established under Section 16 of the Human Resources Management Professional Act No. 52 of 2012 in the position of CEO vide an employment contract dated 8th April 2020 for an initial term of three (3) years effective 2nd May 2020 and was to lapse on 30th April 2023.
He contends that upon his renewal application, the board’s chairperson assured him that the issue was under consideration and that he would receive communication on his request. However on 3rd April 2023, 27 days before the lapsing of his employment contract, he received a letter from the chairperson communicating the decision of the non-renewal of his employment contract. He was further advised to proceed on terminal leave with effect from 3rd April 2023 and further hand over to the Ag. CEO. He was advised that the position of CEO would be advertised soon and that he was free to put in his application.
He argues that he had legitimately expected his contract would be renewed subject to his satisfactory performance, being the only condition stipulated in his employment contract as a basis for its renewal. The board however in a quick rejoinder claimed that upon receipt of his expression of interest, the same was duly processed through the Human Resource, Finance and Strategy Committee of the Board and in light of the annual board self-evaluation undertaken by the State Corporation Advisory Committee in both financial years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 and the CEO’s self – evaluation report of 09.07.2021. The Committee prepared its report dated 31st March 2023 for consideration by the full Board.
In its report, the committees recommended inter- alia that the position of the Chief Executive Officer be subjected to a competitive recruitment process and further that the CEO be allowed to apply for the position. The report reads “Upon analyzing the performance results of the CEO in the last two years, the committee observed that the CEO underperformed in a number of critical areas that if not addressed can impact on the success of the Board”.
The committee noted the following areas of shortcomings: poor working relationship with employees and not creating a conducive working environment despite Board’s intervention on several occasions, poor facilitation of the Board, and late submission of Board Papers and Notices for meetings. The quality of minutes and other Board reports is wanting. Notices and Board Papers are sent to members a few hours before the actual Board meeting thus denying members ample time to critically interrogate fundamental issues for effective Board deliberations and decision-making. Mwongozo and good corporate practice advocate for at least fourteen days’ notice before a Board meeting. The committee, in its report, also noted that there has been poor record keeping e.g. filing of Board minutes, Board expenditure records, resolutions and directions. Dr Awino’s appeal was dismissed through a ruling dated Thursday 22nd June, 2023 by Judge Byram Ongaya.