Parliament Committee Outlines Plan to Restore CAS Positions

March 13, 2024

Parliament is poised to reinstate the position of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) months after it was declared unconstitutional.

In a report on the proposed amendment to a series of laws, the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly says establishing the office of the CAS is a necessity.

The Committee, in its recommendations, approves the provisions of the bill related to the National Government Coordination Act 2013, with amendments proposed in the schedule of amendments. According to the amendments, the total number of these positions will not exceed twenty-two.

The President will appoint individuals to these roles based on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission (PSC). Additionally, these appointments will prioritize regional and gender balance.

The amendments also detail the qualifications that an aspiring CAS must meet before assuming office in the public service.

CAS Qualifications

One of the key qualifications is that candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree and have previous experience in public service, meeting the requirements outlined in Chapter Six of the Constitution concerning leadership and integrity.

Furthermore, candidates will face disqualification if they have been convicted of an offense punishable by a jail term of six months without the option of a fine, declared bankrupt, hold a political party office, or have been impeached.

The proposed law further stipulates that CAS will be required to address issues related to the portfolio they have been appointed to, represent the CS, and undertake any other duties assigned by the CS.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission will determine the salaries of the CAS.

While the majority of the Committee endorsed the recommendation, Rarieda MP and JLAC member, Otiende Omollo, dissented from his colleagues on the necessity of establishing this office.

Otiende justified his dissent by highlighting that the duties of a CAS were a duplication of those already assigned to cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries in the ministries. He further drew parallels between the office of the CAS and that of the defunct assistant ministers.

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