Kisumu’s HR Department Exposed For Unethical Practices

By The Weekly Vision Reporter

The human resources department is a vital office in every organization; without it, an organization would, in most cases, fail to deliver services effectively. However, in Kisumu, the department has been tainted after senior members got involved in serious malpractices. Analysis of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database (IPPD) for 2022–2023 revealed that 63 employees received arrears amounting to Ksh. 5,660,993 on allowances to which they were not entitled.

 A review of the county’s payroll further revealed that 34 employees who had attained the retirement age of 60 years were still appearing in the June 2023 payroll, contrary to Section D.21 of the Human Resource Policies and Procedures Manual, 2016 on mandatory retirement age, which states that all officers shall retire from the service upon attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 years, and 65 years for persons with disabilities.

 The department also paid 30 percent of its officers’ special duty allowance for a duration exceeding 6 months. This was contrary to Section C.15 of the Public Service Commission Human Resource Policies and Procedures Manual, 2016, which states that the payment of special duty allowance will not be payable to an officer for more than 6 months. A further review of payroll records revealed that 29 officers were performing duties of posts that were more than 2 grades higher than their substantive grades, knowing so well that officers shall not be called upon to perform duties of a post that is more than 2 grades higher than the officer’s substantive grade.

 Investigations reveal that the officers in the HR department collude with those in the finance department to make overpayments to certain employees; the difference is then shared between the employee and members of the department. According to our investigations, the HR department had an overpayment of basic pay of Ksh. 1,769,730 during the years 2022–2023, involving 33 employees. It has also been discovered that in the 12 months from July 2022 to June 2023, 5 employees had an overpayment of their house allowance totaling Ksh. 224,900.  Further, 2 employees had an overpayment of Ksh. 12,000 in respect of commuter allowance, while 16 employees had an overpayment of Kshs. 304,181.

 It has also been discovered that an expenditure of Ksh. 5,128,560 was incurred in respect of Kisumu All Stars football players and the technical bench personnel. The county claims that the employees had been engaged as revenue officers but deployed in the Department of Sports as support staff. In addition, evidence of the tasks for which they were paid, their job descriptions, duty stations, and their terms of engagement were never specified.