The role of the County Assembly Service Board is crucial for the County Assembly in each of the 47 counties. Section 12 of the County Governments Act (2012) stipulates the role of the County Assembly Service Board.
Furthermore, the County Assembly Services Act (2017) expounds on the role of the County Assembly Service Board. In this article, we shall have a look at the County Assembly Service Board, including its roles, functions, powers and membership.
The membership of the County Assembly Service Board
For the role of the County Assembly Service Board to be effective, it needs a membership. Section 12 of the County Governments Act names the members of the Board as follows:
- the Speaker of the county assembly as the chairperson;
- the leader of the majority party or a member of the county assembly deputed by him or her, as the vice-chairperson;
- the leader of the minority party or a member of the county assembly deputed by him or her; and
- one person who is a resident in the county, appointed by the county assembly from among persons who have knowledge and experience in public affairs, but who is not a member of the county assembly.
The county assembly clerk should be the secretary to the county assembly service board.
For the roles of the speaker, majority leader and minority leader, see the leadership of the County Assembly in Kenya.
Qualifications and procedure for appointment to the Board
To be appointed as a member of the County Assembly Service Board, in the county resident position mentioned above, a person should:
- be a citizen of Kenya;
- hold a degree from a university recognized in Kenya;
- have at least ten years’ experience in public affairs; and
- meet the requirements of leadership and integrity in Chapter Six of the Constitution.
Removal from office
The county resident who is appointed as a member of the Board may be removed from office on any of the following grounds —
- violation of the Constitution;
- inability to discharge duties for any reason;
- bankruptcy; or
- if convicted of any offence with a sentence of more than six months imprisonment.
Any person may petition the county assembly for the removal of the member of the Board on the grounds specified above.
The procedure for the removal of a member of the Board should be as prescribed in the Standing Orders of the county assembly.
Role of the County Assembly Service Board
Section 12 of the County Governments Act stipulates the functions of the Board as follows:
- providing services and facilities to ensure the efficient and effective functioning of the county assembly;
- constituting offices in the county assembly service, and appointing and supervising office holders;
- preparing annual estimates of expenditure of the county assembly service and submitting them to the county assembly for approval, and exercising budgetary control over the service;
- undertaking, singly or jointly with other relevant organizations, programmes to promote the ideals of parliamentary democracy; and
- performing other functions— (i) necessary for the well-being of the members and staff of the county assembly; or (ii) prescribed by national legislation.
See Also: The Role of the County Assembly in Kenya
Other functions of the County Assembly Service Board
Other functions of the Board according to the County Assembly Services Act are to:
- direct and supervise the administration of the services and facilities provided by, and exercise budgetary control over, the County Assembly Service;
- determine and review the terms and conditions of service of persons holding or acting in the offices of the Service;
- initiate, coordinate and harmonize policies and strategies relating to the development of the Service;
- initiate programmes—
(i) for training and capacity building of members and staff of the county assembly and other persons;
(ii) that promote ideals of parliamentary democracy as set out in Article 127(6)(d) of the Constitution; and
(iii) that promote public awareness and participation in the activities of the county assembly; and
- do such other things as may be necessary for the well-being of the members and staff of the county assembly.
Functions of the Secretary of the Board (county clerk)
The Secretary shall be—
- the chief executive officer of the Board;
- the accounting officer of the Board;
- the administrative head of the County Public Service;
- the custodian of the County Assembly Service Board’s records;
- responsible for—
(i) the execution of the decisions of the Board; and
(ii) assignment of duties and supervision of the staff of the Board;
- the preparation and submission of the programmes necessary for the achievement of the Board’s mandate for approval by the Board;
- causing to be kept records of the proceedings and minutes of the meetings of the Board and such other records as the Board may direct;
- ensuring staff compliance with public service values, principles and ethics; and
- the performance of such other duties as may be assigned by the Board or any other written law.