A bill to create and define the positions of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) has been tabled in Parliament, months after the High Court declared the roles unconstitutional.
The National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill seeks to reinstate the CAS positions by amending four laws.
Section 12 (A) outlines the appointment process, from the Public Service Commission’s recommendation to the President to confirmation by the National Assembly.
A bachelor’s degree, experience in the public service and meeting the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution are the prerequisites for appointment as a CAS.
In addition, conviction of a criminal offence for six months without the possibility of a fine, bankruptcy, holding a position in a political party, being a member of parliament or a public or state officer, and impeachment would disqualify them from nomination.
A CAS responds to matters within his or her portfolio, liaises with Parliament and county governments, ensures inter-ministerial and sectoral coordination, represents the Cabinet Secretary when necessary and performs other duties as assigned by the AG or CS.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta created the position of CAS in 2018, a process that was later ruled illegal by the court in 2021, citing a lack of public engagement, among other reasons.
President Ruto appointed 50 CAS earlier this year, but the Law Society of Kenya and Katiba Institute filed a successful petition challenging the appointment process, and a three-judge bench of Kanyi Kimondo, Hedwig Ong’udi and Aleem Visram nullified it.
“The newly-created office and fresh complement of 50 had to comply with the constitution and the criteria set out earlier in Okiyah’s case in order to be lawfully established. They did not comply. The entire complement of 50 CASs is therefore unconstitutional,” the court ruled.