Members of Parliament are planning to tame commissioners of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) by making them part time workers with Ksh16,700 monthly salary.
This comes days after SRC initiated a litigation against the MPs, demanding that they return Ksh700 million paid to them as house allowance. The MPs allocated themselves Ksh250,000 house allowance per person, which they backdated to October 5, 2018, when High Court judge Chacha Mwita ruled that every state official is entitled to a house allowance.
SRC moved to court terming the allowance as illegal, but the legislators have vowed to fight the commission both in the courts and on the floor of the August House.
In a retaliatory move, the MPs intend to amend the SRC Act so that the commissioners earn their income through a sitting allowance per session.
The Act requires that the commissioners hold four meetings per year, which will translate to Ksh200,000 pay per year or Ksh16,700 per month.
Currently, the commissioners serve on a full-time basis on a six-year non-renewable contract, a change which was instituted in 2018. Before that, SRC commissioners served on a part time basis.
In the changes being contemplated, the MPs target to slash the Ksh600 million budget for the commission by Ksh104 million. They have also blocked a proposal by the commission to buy land to build their headquarters.
The commission has also suffered a blow after the legislators blocked SRC’s supplementary budget of Ksh99 million, which was used to buy cars for the 13 commissioners. The MPs say it was illegal for the commission to spend the money without approval from the parliament. They argued that there was no hurry in bying cars, as there were cars used by the previous team.
The commissioners are likely to be surcharged should they be found in violation of the law regarding the expenditure, which might make their stay in office unbearable.
According to reports, the Budget and Appropriations Committee has already adopted the recommendations by the Finance Committee.