The duties of a Ward Administrator in Kenya are important for the county administration at the ward level. Section 51 of the County Governments Act establishes the Office of the Ward Administrator in each ward.
Each county government should decentralize its functions and provision of services to the:
- urban area and cities,
- sub-counties (constituencies),
- village units, and
- even further down as the county may determine.
Therefore, the duties of a Ward Administrator in Kenya apply at the ward level. But what are the duties of ward administrators in Kenyan counties?
Section 51 (3) of the County Governments Act says the Ward Administrator should coordinate, manage and supervise the general administrative functions in the Ward unit, including—
- the development of policies and plans;
- service delivery;
- developmental activities to empower the community;
- the provision and maintenance of infrastructure and facilities of public services;
- the county public service;
- exercise any functions and powers delegated by the County Public Service Board (under section 86 of the County Governments Act); and
- coordination and facilitation of citizen participation in the development of policies and plans and delivery of services.
In carrying out the functions and obligations above, the Ward Administrator is answerable and responsible to the Sub-County Administrator at the sub-county (constituency) level.
Other additional functions that a particular county may specify, which extends the above functions, include:
- ensure the Village Councils the county government forms in the Wards have proper management;
- articulate implementation of Articles 10 (on national values and principles of governance) and 232 (on values and principles of public service) of the Constitution to the citizens;
- mobilize revenue collection and play a critical role in building personal accounts and business register of ratepayers and business people in the ward;
- facilitating inter-governmental relations and conflict resolutions;
- Overseeing safe custody of county government assets in the ward;
- coordinating and liaising with other directorates and departments in the ward;
- ensuring compliance with legal, statutory and regulatory requirements;
- enhancing administrative capacity for effective functions and governance at the local level;
- identifying development projects;
- disseminating information to the public; and
- providing linkage between the office and the community.
Now that we have outlined the duties of a Ward Administrator in Kenya, what are the qualifications of a Ward Administrator?
Section 51 of the County Governments Act guides any Ward Administrator qualification. It says that the Ward Administrator should have professional qualifications and technical knowledge in administration. The County Public Service Board should appoint him or her competitively according to the provisions of the County Governments Act.
Section 65 of the County Governments Act prescribes some matters for the County Public Service Board to consider during appointments, etc. In selecting candidates for appointment, the County Public Service Board should consider—
- the standards, values and principles set out in Articles 10, 27(4), 56(c) and 232(1) of the Constitution;
- the prescribed qualifications for holding or acting in the office;
- the experience and achievements attained by the candidate;
- the conduct of the candidate in view of any relevant code of conduct, ethics and integrity;
- the need to ensure that at least thirty per cent of the vacant posts at the entry-level are for candidates who are not from the dominant ethnic community in the county;
- the need for open and transparent recruitment of public servants; and
- individual performance.
However, in determining whether an appointment happens in a fair and transparent manner, the overriding factors should be merit, fair competition and representation of the diversity of the county.
Some (or most) counties also provide additional or specific requirements if there is a vacancy to perform the duties of a Ward Administrator in Kenya. Some of these qualifications include:
- Being a Kenyan citizen.
- Academic requirements – the academic requirements for this position are usually a minimum of post-secondary education. The preferred qualifications are a diploma and a university degree, and even in some cases, a master’s degree. The requirements may vary per county government. The most important requirement though, on top of this, is to have knowledge of administration and management.
- Satisfy the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution – these requirements deal with leadership and integrity.
- Have knowledge of certain key areas – For example, the applicant may need to demonstrate a thorough understanding of devolution, the county development plans and objectives and Vision 2030;
- Work experience – the work experience may range from as low as 2 years to as high as 10 years. Again, this depends on the county government.
- Familiarity with County – a county government may require a person to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the Sub-County County and its Wards. Also, the person may be required to be a resident of the ward they are applying for.
- Technology use – for example, the person may be required to be computer literate.
To see if the candidate meets the threshold of chapter six for the duties of a Ward Administrator in Kenya, a county government may ask the applicant for clearance from:
- Kenya Revenue Authority.
- Higher Education Loans Board.
- Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
- The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
- Credit Reference Bureau.
The county governments usually encourage marginalized groups (youth, women, persons living with disabilities) to apply for vacancies in this office.
A person may find other requirements in the advertisement of the county government for the Ward administrator position.
For any county government to meet the duties of a Ward Administrator in Kenya, the officeholder requires compensation.
But how much does a Ward Administrator earn in Kenya? Or what is the Ward Administrators salary scale?
Salary, allowances and other benefits for Ward Administrators are as per the rates the Salaries and Remuneration Commission prescribes. (between KES 48,000 to KES 98,000 in basic pay with additional allowances of up to KES 32,000 based on SRC’s 2013 circular).
The position of a Ward Administrator is also permanent and pensionable.