World Bank-Assisted Payroll System to Eliminate Ghost Workers in Public Service

June 7, 2024

The government, through the State Department for Public Service, is enhancing and implementing critical programs to strengthen HR management in the public service.

During the 2nd HR Summit for directors and deputy directors from ministries and departments in the public service, PS for Public Service Amos Gathecha announced that the government will introduce the Human Resource Information System-Kenya (HRIS-K) to manage HR functions in the public sector.

Developed with assistance from the World Bank, the system will include a payroll module to manage civil servants’ salaries.

Gathecha stated that the HRIS-K system will also address wage bill issues, with the government planning to migrate all payrolls to the system by July 1, 2024. All state departments must transition to the new payroll by June 30, 2025.

He noted that the payroll module has been finalized and is awaiting integration with IFMIS, I-tax, and Central Bank of Kenya Internet Banking (IB).

The PS revealed that the system has been successfully piloted since April 2024 within the State Department for Performance and Delivery Management, Public Financial Management Reforms at National Treasury, and Huduma Kenya.

We are expected to migrate our payrolls to the system by July 1. The system is now ready, I can confirm. We have done pilots in the State Department for Public Service, Huduma and in Treasury, and it has worked. We now want to roll it out,” Gathecha said.

“I am already in discussion with KRA on this. The system has been piloted successfully since April 2024,” the PS said.

The system will include about eight modules across the human resource function, including an establishment module that will determine the required number of officers for each state department.

It will also feature a pensions module to streamline payments and a leave management module.

PS Gathecha stated that the new system will address the perennial issue of ghost workers.

“We expect that it is going to bring a lot of soberness, the system will not accept any person who is not in the establishment,” he said.

“With the new payroll system, we are not going to allow the system to accept any person or cadre that is not in the establishment,” the PS said.

Training on the new system for payroll managers in ministries, departments, and agencies is being conducted in phases.

Gathecha urged HR directors in the public service to familiarize themselves with the new system before its rollout. They must adhere to the resolutions of the third Wage Bill Conference, focusing on strategies to achieve a wage bill to revenue ratio of 35 percent by June 30, 2028.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission will issue circulars on these issues. We had set timelines at the Wage Bill Conference, but now it seems we will exceed them. So, new timelines will be issued,” the PS said.

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