Kemsa has overdose of employees, says Auditor General

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Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) warehouse in Nairobi. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) hired more than double its required staff size, reflecting wastage at the State agency.

Kemsa had 912 employees against an approved number of 341 in the year ended June 2020, according to a report submitted to lawmakers by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu.

Ms Gathungu says in her report that no approval was provided to hire the extra 571 workers at the agency that was at the centre of corrupt dealings over the procurement of Covid-19 emergency equipment.

She further noted that five officers on secondment from the Ministry of Health have served the organisation for a period of more than six years contrary to the law.

The Public Service Commission HR policy states that the secondment of officers from the public service to other organisations is applicable to pensionable officers for a period of three years, renewable once.

“No explanation was provided for this anomaly,” said the Auditor General.

The Auditor-General says Kemsa’s staff costs in the financial year ended June 2020 stood at Sh1 billion as a result of the bloated workforce.

“In the circumstances, the accuracy and validity of staff costs balance of Sh1,083,420,635 for the year ended 30 June 2020 could not be confirmed,” she said.

Kemsa is undergoing restructuring in a bid to reform the agency and improve accountability of its employees amid a string of scandals that have plagued the agency.

President Uhuru Kenyatta overhauled the Kemsa board of directors on April 29, last year in the wake of multi-billion-shilling scandals plaguing the medical supplies agency.

Mary Chao Mwadime took over from former board chairman Kembi Gitura, who was moved to the Communications Authority (CA) on March 17, 2021, in a similar capacity.

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