Economy

Lean commissions in law change Bill to save Treasury Sh256m yearly

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National Treasury building. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A document prepared by the Parliamentary Budget Office and submitted to Parliament highlights the various underlying assumptions in determining the estimated cost of reduced membership to the commissions.
  • This is done on the basis that it costs the taxpayer Sh1 million in monthly remuneration for a commissioner translating to Sh1.176 billion for the 98 members in all the 10 commissions provided for under Chapter 15 of the Constitution.

The government will save at least Sh256 million annually if membership to some constitutional commissions was reduced to a uniform figure of seven each as proposed in the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020.

The amount is enough to construct at least 300 classrooms to boost access to basic education.

Although membership to the 10 commissions is varied with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) having the highest- 14, the minimum a commission is required to have is three members, according to the Constitution.

The Bill, sponsored by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), seeks to amend the Constitution and is currently under debate in the National Assembly and Senate.

The Bill, however, exempts National Police Service Commission that has nine commissioners, Judicial Service Commission 11, Parliamentary Service Commission 10 and Commission on Revenue Allocation) with nine commissioners, from the reduction.

A document prepared by the Parliamentary Budget Office and submitted to Parliament highlights the various underlying assumptions in determining the estimated cost of reduced membership to the commissions.

This is done on the basis that it costs the taxpayer Sh1 million in monthly remuneration for a commissioner translating to Sh1.176 billion for the 98 members in all the 10 commissions provided for under Chapter 15 of the Constitution.

The chapter is protected under Article 255 (1) of the Constitution meaning that other than reducing the number of commissioners, which can be done through legislative interventions, doing away with some commissions can only be approved at the referendum.