Cabinet approves radical measures to stop NYS looting
The cabinet has approved a new bill seeking to dramatically change the structure of the National Youth Service (NYS) and seal the loopholes that have made it synonymous with corruption.
In the Bill, there is an outlined raft of measures that aim to strengthen the operations and management of NYS by transforming it from a government department into a corporate body.
At the helm of the current ranking structure of the NYS is the powerful position of the Director General.
The past two former director generals: Nelson Githinji and immediate DG. Richard Ndubai were ousted and were at the center of corruption scandals.
The Deputy Director General is an equally powerful post.
Adan Gedow Harakhe, who was appointed to deputize Nelson Githinji had been granted authority to incur expenditure and handle administrative, procurement, finance and human resource.
He was even said to wield more authority than the DG at the time the 2014 scandal exposed the deep-seated graft at the department.
What was and has been largely lacking was oversight and checks and balances on the roles of the officers in charge.
The new Bill seeks to establish the Council of the NYS which shall consist of a non-executive chairperson appointed by the President.
The Council shall also include 3 Principal Secretaries responsible for the service in matters finance and internal security.
The Attorney General, Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces and 5 other members to be appointed by the Cabinet Secretary.
Further, the Director General shall be an ex-officio member and secretary to the council.
The Director General shall also be appointed, only with recommendation from the council. The CEO will be in charge.
The Council will be responsible for among other things, formulation of the policy, control, oversight and supervision of the service.
It will also receive and consider the budget estimates of the service, recruit, transfer or promote other members of the service among other functions.
The Cabinet’s approval of the bill follows its approval of the restructuring of the service in a meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta in August.
Once the measures are in effect, it may be the beginning of the end of the NYS as we have known it in the past 4 years.
NYS was established September 1, 1964 as a uniformed disciplined service whose operations are regulated by the national youth service act.