The Public Service Commission has extended the deadline for application of Principal Secretaries (PS) positions up to Tuesday next week without offering an explanation.
PSC has given Kenyans eyeing PSs jobs up to September 27, to place their applications for the 44 job slots that have fallen vacant following the election of President William Ruto last month.
The PSs head the various State departments under government ministries, making them the accounting officers charged with tracking the implementation of funds allocated to their dockets.
PSC did not disclose the reason for the extension or the number of applications received so far, but employers typically extend recruitment periods to source a wider talent pool than those already received.
“The Public Service Commission has extended the deadline for submission of applications for the advertised positions of PSs in the public service from September 20 to September 27, 2022,” said PSC in a statement on Tuesday.
The PSC will select candidates from the list of applicants, conduct interviews and recommend the most suitable candidates for the positions to the Kenya Kwanza administration for appointment.
Article 155 of the Constitution mandates the President to nominate a person for appointment as PS from among persons recommended by the PSC. The names of the nominees are then forwarded to the National Assembly for approval for appointment to the position.
To qualify for PSs position, a person must hold a degree from a recognized university, possess at least ten years of relevant professional experience and demonstrable leadership and management capacity.
PSs are allocated an official car, a driver and a bodyguard, besides their pay, which is close to Sh1 million. The State also maintains their houses and a retinue of aides; including at least two secretaries and a personal assistant.
Currently, there are 21 ministries in government, each headed by a Cabinet Secretary. It is common tradition for the President to put his most trusted persons in ministries that he considers crucial for his legacy.
Ministries such as Education and Transport have five PSs owing to the number of departments within their mandate.
For instance, the Ministry of Education has the State departments of Early Learning and Basic Education, University Education and Research, Vocational and Technical Training, Curriculum Reforms and Implementation as well as Post Training and Skills Development.
The PSC has developed an advisory brief on transition to a new government administration which is part of its mandate as enshrined in the Constitution.
The nine advisories that the PSC has segregated the brief touch on appointment of PSs, their appointment letters, exit of the serving PSs, advisors and other auxiliary staff, as well as modalities for transition of staff from the Nairobi Metropolitan Services upon lapse of ‘Deed of Transfer’.
In 2020, former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko agreed to hand over health, transport, public works and planning functions to the national government under the Deed of Transfer.