The fate of the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) is now hanging in the balance after the President William Ruto’s administration kicked off a review process.
In a notice carried in local dailies on Wednesday, September 21, the state invited the public to offer their comments to affirm the legality of the position.
The public was notified that the state intended to create the post after former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision move to introduce the position was declared illegal by the High Court in April 2021.
“Pursuant to the provisions of Article 132(4)(a) of the Constitution, the President has proposed to establish the offices of Chief Administrative Secretary which will be offices in the public service and will be under the direction of Cabinet Secretaries.
“The Public Service Commission hereby seeks views from members of the public on the proposed establishment of the offices of Chief Administrative Secretary. All views should be in writing addressed to the Secretary, Public Service Commission and hand delivered to the Commission’s offices or sent to the Commission,” read the statement in part.
The public was given October 6, 2022, deadline to deliver their views.
The post, which was created by Uhuru in 2018, is mandated with providing liaison with the National Assembly and Senate, providing liaison with County Governments on matters of concurrent mandate as well as Providing inter-ministerial coordination among others.
Occupants of the office were also mandated to possess a Bachelor’s degree certificate, ability to manage the administrative-political interface, ability to articulate public policies and programmes as well as ability to undertake complex and high-pressure tasks.
In April 2021, High Court Judge Antony Mrima dealt a blow to the position after declaring it illegal noting that the law was not followed while they were being created.
In his ruling, Mrima also noted that Cabinet Secretaries who continued to serve without undergoing vetting in 2017 are in office illegally.
At the time of creation, Uhuru explained that individuals who occupy the CAS position would be responsible for helping the Cabinet Secretaries to better coordinate affairs in their respective ministries.
“I have decided to establish a new position in government, the position of Chief Administrative Secretary in all our ministries,” Uhuru stated at the time.
This role was likened to that of an assistant minister that was in the former constitution. However, this role was not defined in the new (2010) constitution.
Some of the former CASs in Uhuru’s government include Ababu Namwamba who is eyeing the Foreign Affairs docket in Ruto’s cabinet and Wavinya Ndeti who is now Machakos governor.