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The Role of a Sub-County Administrator in Kenya

  • Author Gĩthĩnji
  • Updated on:

The duties of a Sub-County administrator in Kenya are important for the county administration at the sub-county level. Section 50 of the County Governments Act establishes the Office of the Sub-County Administrator in each Sub-County.

Each county government shall decentralize its functions and provision of services to the:

  • urban area and cities,
  • sub-counties (constituencies),
  • wards,
  • village units, and
  • even further down as the county may determine.

Therefore, the duties of a Sub-County Administrator in Kenya apply at the Sub-County level. A sub-county is similar to a constituency, the latter which is a decentralized unit for the national government. Since there are two hundred and ninety constituencies, then the sub-counties shall have the same number.

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The Roles of a Sub-County Administrator in Kenya

The sub-county administrator shall be responsible for the coordination, management and supervision of the general administrative functions in the sub-county 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; and
  • facilitation and coordination of citizen participation in the development of policies and plans and delivery of services.

In carrying out the functions and obligations of the office of the Sub-County Administrator, the Sub-County Administrator shall be answerable to the relevant County Chief Officer.

Additional functions of a Sub-County Administrator that a particular county may specify, which extends the above functions, include:

  • Promotion and coordination of peacebuilding and conflict resolution
  • Coordination of disaster management and emergency response activities in the sub-county in collaboration with other government agencies.
  • 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 sub-county;
  • facilitating inter-governmental relations;
  • Overseeing safe custody of county government assets in the sub-county;
  • coordinating and liaising with other directorates and departments in the sub-county;
  • ensuring compliance with legal, statutory and regulatory requirements;
  • enhancing administrative capacity for effective functions and governance at the sub-county level;
  • identifying development projects;
  • disseminating information to the public; and
  • providing linkage between the office of the Sub-County Administrator and the community.

Qualifications of a Sub-County Administrator

Now that we have outlined the roles of a Sub-County Administrator in Kenya, what are the qualifications of a Sub-County administrator?

The Sub-County Administrator shall have the qualifications and knowledge in administration or management. The County Public Service Board shall appoint the Sub-County Administrator competitively in accordance with 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 shall 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 shall be merit, fair competition and representation of the diversity of the county.

Other qualifications of a sub-county administrator

Some (or most) counties also provide additional or specific requirements if there is a vacancy to perform the duties of a Sub-County 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 a university degree. The preferred academic qualifications are a university degree, and 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 3 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 County and its Sub-Counties. Also, the person may be required to be a resident of the sub-county 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 roles of a Sub-County 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 Sub-County Administrator position. These include a CV, national ID or Passport, testimonials, and academic and professional certificates.

The Sub-County Administrators Salary in Kenya

For any county government to meet the roles of a Sub-County administrator, the officeholder requires compensation.

But how much does a Sub-County Administrator earn in Kenya? Or what is the Sub-County Administrators salary?

Salary, allowances and other benefits for Sub-County Administrators are as per the rates the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) prescribes. (A minimum of KES 89,748 in basic pay up to a maximum of KES 120,270 in basic pay, with additional allowances of up to KES 54,000 above the basic pay based on SRC’s 2013 circular.)

The position of a Sub-County Administrator in Kenya is also permanent and pensionable.

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