The National Youth Service (NYS) will for the first time have board of directors after Parliament passed the NYS Bill 2018 that seeks to seal managerial and operational gaps that have exposed the agency to massive looting in the past.
The passage of the Bill happened before the House went on a long Christmas recess that ends in February next year, and the proposed law now awaits the approval of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The new measures will convert the youth training agency to a State-owned corporation with a board that will oversee the management headed by a chief executive officer.
At present, the NYS operates as a department of the Public Service ministry — which has exposed it to control by bureaucrats and politicians.
The youth agency also lacked a board to oversee the management, allowing senior staff to operate with little controls.
“Corruption has been rampant at the facility because only the PS oversights the DG. That is why whenever there is a scandal, the PS and the DG have always been suspended. In the new structure, the ministry will have no role. The council will do the job,” says Cabinet Secretary in charge of the ministry Prof Margaret Kobia
Top civil servants, Public Service PS Lilian Omolo, suspended NYS director-general Richard Ndubai and a number of business people were in May charged with the theft of nearly half a billion shillings of public funds.
The Sh468 million scandal follows a similar scam three years ago at the same agency, which saw nearly Sh2 billion get lost.
Former Devolution PS Peter Mangiti and nearly two dozen NYS officials including its former head Nelson Githinji were charged with fraud.
The board will consist of a non-executive chairperson appointed by the President, the Principal Secretary for the Service, PS in charge of Treasury, Interior PS, Attorney General, and the Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces among others.
The bill demands that the NYS graduates be given the first priority to join the military and other disciplined forces.