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Judge rules on legality of CAS positions

President Ruto had indicated he would retain the position of Chief Administrative Secretaries

President William Ruto

The Law Society of Kenya recently lost their case challenging the establishment of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) positions in the public service.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court judge, Justice Monicah Mbaru, ruled that the Public Service Commission had lawfully created the position, dismissing LSK’s petition to declare the position illegal.

The judge noted that the commission had followed the required legal procedures and invited public views before establishing the office.

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This ruling now allows the PSC to invite applications for job vacancies that were advertised in October 2022, which the LSK had halted by suing.

The decision made by the court serves as a relief for President William Ruto’s allies, who lost in the 2022 General Election, as they are the main beneficiaries of this ruling.

The CAS positions include responsibilities such as responding to issues, providing liaison with the National Assembly and Senate, and coordinating with county governments.

The LSK argued that the creation of the CAS office was illegal and would lead to a bloated wage bill, which could potentially duplicate the roles of principal secretaries.

The society opposed the creation of the CAS office, citing the country’s struggling economy and financial constraints facing the government.

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However, the court ruled that the creation of the CAS office conforms to the principles provided for in the Constitution and ensures no duplication of roles between CAS and principal secretaries.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) had invited members of the public to submit their views on the proposed establishment of the position of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS).

According to the PSC, CASs will be appointed through a vigorous competitive recruitment exercise that shall lead up to a nomination by the President and vetting by the National Assembly.

Those interested in the position will be required to possess a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

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They will also be expected to demonstrate ability to manage the administrative-political interface, articulate public policies and programmes, and undertake complex and high-pressure tasks that require engagements with multi-institutions and other public officers/offices among others.

The duties of the chief administrative secretaries will include but not be limited to:

  • Responding to issues touching on the portfolio assigned to the office
  • Providing liaison with the National Assembly and Senate
  • Providing liaison with County Governments on matters of concurrent mandate and common interest
  • Providing inter-ministerial /sectoral co-ordination
  • Representing the Cabinet Secretary at any meeting as instructed by the Cabinet Secretary
  • Executing any other duties and responsibilities specifically assigned to the office by the Cabinet Secretary in furtherance of the interests of the Ministry.

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