Maraga team recommends NYS moved to Ministry of Interior

The team recommended that the basic salary of NYS and other police services be raised by 40 per cent

In Summary

• The team noted that remuneration and allowances payable to members of the three services, NPS, Kenya Prisons Service, and NYS have been one of their key grievances.

• The task force said it received earnest pleas from the public to set up NYS training institutions in every county to provide training opportunities for the youth.

The new recruits
The new recruits

The task force on police reforms recommends moving the National Youth Service to the Ministry of Interior for better coordination.

The team noted that the remuneration and allowances payable to the members of the three services—National Police Service, Kenya Prisons Service, and NYS—have been one of their key grievances.

The task force noted a major challenge in evaluating and determining the remuneration of the services.

This challenge arises from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s use of inappropriate tools and its lack of recognition that the services’ mandate and nature of work are unique and different from that of the mainstream public service, involving factors such as decision-making, risks, and disruption of family life.

The team recommended the creation of “the Disciplined and Security Services Sector” comprising the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), National Intelligence Service (NIS), National Police Service (NPS), Kenya Prison Service (KPS), and National Youth Service (NYS) as a separate budget sector.

The team recommended that the basic salary of the members of the three Services be raised by 40 per cent at the lowest constable level with a decompression ratio, based on the current salary, achieving a three per cent increment in basic salary at the highest rank in three years from July 2024.

For non-uniformed members of NPS, given their work environment, the Taskforce has recommended a new allowance to improve their terms and conditions of service.

Given their job descriptions, roles and responsibilities, the task force has not reviewed their remuneration structure as it is in line with the rest of the Public Service.

To address complaints of misappropriation, the task force recommended that the payment of all allowances should be automated and promptly made directly into the officers’ bank accounts. Cash payment of allowances should be prohibited.

Besides the paramilitary training to instill discipline and patriotism for national service and support to the military in times of war and the police when needed, the major focus of the service is to tool the youth with skills needed for development.

Through vocational training and personal development programmes, NYS is tasked to equip Kenyan youth with masonry, plumbing, electrical engineering, plant operation, plant mechanics, driving, supply chain management, catering and other skills to enable them to undertake enterprises and commercial activities to earn a living and contribute to national development.

The task force said it received earnest pleas from the public, and parents in particular, to set up NYS training institutions in every county to provide training opportunities for the youth.

The task force recommended that for NYS to be self-reliant, and to discharge its mandate without relying on the national coffers, it should be granted seed funding to undertake income-generating projects.

It said NYS also faces leadership challenges and to secure the requisite competencies and to be self-reliant as stated, the NYS Act should be amended to provide that the chairperson and members of the NYS Council shall be recruited through a competitive process by a selection panel constituted by the President for that purpose.

The task force also recommended that NYS recruits should hold, as a minimum, a KCSE certificate and that the NYS officers be recruited from among ex-servicemen/women.

“Servicemen and women form an integral part of NYS and are relied on to perform operational functions whenever the Service is called upon. However, the status of servicemen and women under the current law is unclear.”

“This vagueness in the law and policy has denied servicemen and women critical facilitation and benefits such as insurance and other advantages that are ordinarily due to members of the Service,” the team said.

The Maraga team recommended the establishment of grades of Inspector II and I and the introduction of Constable III, II, and I, and Corporal III, II, and I within the same ranks, all of which must be filled through open and competitive promotions process based on merit.

It added that the current medical scheme for the officers of NYS is expanded to include the servicemen/women.

The Service should establish fully equipped dispensaries in every field unit and station to provide medical aid and enter into agreements with other disciplined Services to be allowed access to their medical facilities.

The NYS should also implement a comprehensive medical cover for its members as provided for in its Strategic Plan, the report says.

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