A farewell luncheon was held for Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Prof. Margaret Kobia on Wednesday 28th March 2018 with former colleagues showering her with praises for her stewardship of the Public Service Commission during the five years she was at the helm of the organization.
Prof Kobia who served as chairperson of the Commission since 2013 before President Uhuru Kenyatta plucked her into his cabinet in January this year was hailed by fellow commissioners and secretariat staff as a transformational leader who initiated far reaching changes that helped improve the work environment and propelled the Commission to be a respectable institution that it is today.
The farewell ceremony was held at the Intercontinental hotel in Nairobi and attended by the commission board members led by acting chairperson Amb. Peter ole Nkuraiyia, CEO Dr. Alice Otwala, and secretariat staff.
Prof Kobia was accompanied by the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, youth and gender affairs Rachael Shebesh, Public Service and Youth Principal Secretary Lillian Mbogo-Omollo and her gender counterpart Safina Kwekwe.
Prof Kobia thanked the Commision board and Secretariat for the support they gave her during her tenure.
She urged the commission to build on the foundation that has been laid and reiterated the need for the board to strengthen its decision making and advisory role to government.
“You must fight for your space more vigorously in order to remain relevant and be respected as an independent institution with a clear constitutional mandate,’ she said.
The CS called on the Commission to listen to the service more and ask the hard questions such as why staff are not motivated, adding that the commission has a responsibility to help government identify and recruit personnel with the right competencies and skills to realize the President’s Big 4 agenda.
She challenged the commission to carry out a skills audit and job evaluation in the entire service with a view to helping the government to bridge the staffing gaps occasioned by an aging service.
“Through job evaluation, we should come up with a road map of things that will be done. Many people are retiring, leaving the service a shell since we are not replacing at the same rate that they are exiting the service,” she said.