President William Ruto has directed all State agencies with non-compliant reports from the Auditor-General and the Public Service Commission to submit corrective action within the next 21 days.

Raising concern over the level of non-compliance with constitutional mandates uncovered by the two institutions in their annual audits, President Ruto disclosed that only 24 per cent of government institutions have received a clean bill of health from the PSC and the Auditor-General.

He said the trend is unacceptable and amounts to impunity that can no longer be tolerated.

“We cannot deliver for Kenyans when we are burdened with impunity and wounded by non-compliance,” he said.

Speaking during the Third National Wage Bill Conference 2024 at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, President Ruto said he expects radical improvement in future audits by all government ministries, departments and agencies.

The President said the government is implementing several measures to achieve a 35 per cent wage bill ratio to revenue. He noted significant progress in managing the public wage bill, highlighting its reduction from 51% to 46% currently.

He said the two levels of government, National and counties, will work in partnership under the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee in conjunction with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the Council of Governors to achieve the wage bill target.

“As National Government, we have taken the lead with a commitment to reduce the wage bill to 35% of revenue by 2027,” he said.

To achieve this, President Ruto urged leaders not to pursue populist positions and instead to be prepared to make tough decisions.

“We must stop chasing what is popular; we must go after what is right,” he said.

The President said the government is keen on enhancing revenue collection through digitisation and fighting corruption in the public service.

He said increasing the country’s revenue will improve the wage bill to revenue ratio.

“I believe that we can raise an extra KSh500 billion, if not KSh1 trillion, just by digitising the Kenya Revenue Authority,” he said.

He pointed out that the government is also creating alternative pathways to employment to ease the pressure on the PSC which, he said, cannot hire all job seekers.

The President directed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to deal firmly with those who used fake certificates to obtain jobs in the public service.

“Those who have earned money using fake certificates should resign and return public money,” he said.

The government, he said, is working towards building a public sector that is characterised by high efficiency, integrity, accountability and productivity needed for Kenya to achieve its development aspirations.

“These virtues are also essential to actualise our intentions to make Kenya Africa’s productivity champion and the host of the African Productivity Centre,” he added.

President Ruto urged heads of government institutions to support reforms by the SRC.

His sentiments were echoed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who said, in his role as the coordinator of constitutional commissions and independent offices, reforms proposed by the SRC in government are often met with hostility and rejection.

“I receive many complaints and petitions against this or that commission; 98 per cent of all complaints and petitions that I receive are against the chairperson of SRC,” he said.

At the same time, President Ruto commended the institutions which won the wage bill accountability awards for setting a worthy example for the rest of the public sector.

“This is the way to go, and you have demonstrated that it is feasible. Congratulations, and keep it up,” he said

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