Effects of merging government services for service delivery in public sector in Kenya: the case of huduma centre, Nairobi city country
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Mergers are hereby undertaken as a form of government intervention to reduce costs and improve service delivery. Mergers are also meant to increase stakeholder value and be prepared to deal with competition decisively. It can be as a result of advancements in technology and the increasing socio-economic pressures. Organizations are exposed to changes in markets, technology, regulatory framework, social environment, competitors which require them to respond timorously. Poor performance by the organizations and high employment costs can lead to change or restructuring. The organizations have to be prepared through the change process. Employees want to be associated with organizations which are forward-looking and open about any changes to their employees. A key purpose of government is to promote the well-being and quality of life of citizens and communities, through effective, accountable representation, and efficient performance of functions and delivery of services. Devolved governments have certain advantages over more centralized organizations. Many public services can be delivered best through locally-based bodies that are responsive to local needs and circumstances. Local responsibility and accountability, subject to overall standards and oversight, can help to achieve good performance, with greater commitment and ownership than is likely through centralized organizations. Kenya has in the recent past brought services closer to its citizens through the merging of its services to Huduma centers in each county. Although not all Huduma centers are operational, most of the counties have enjoyed the convenience and flexibility of the services from these centers. Despite the benefits, Huduma centers have also brought with them a number of hurdles on employees, service delivery and citizens. This research, therefore, aimed at evaluating effects of merging government's services on service delivery. This study considered the case of GPO Huduma center in Nairobi and the researcher was Nicholas Munyua and was guided by The New Public Management Theory and The Theory of Mergers. The study targeted managers, Heads of Departments, customers and junior staff from the various sections in GPO Huduma center. The sample size for the study was 297 customers and 127 employees. The study used questionnaires; interviews and secondary sources to add more objectivity to the study. Data was presented in tables, charts and graphs. Data was further analyzed through use of SPPSS and Microsoft excel. Reliability and validity of the data was ensured through piloting and use of statistical tests (chi and t tests) which tested independence and relationship between the study variables. The study established that there exists a relationship between mergers and service delivery in the public sector. In addition, merging government services through the Nairobi GPO Huduma Center has created efficiency and saved greatly on cost, time and customer satisfaction aspects. The study concluded that proper budget allocation is crucial in ensuring that the transitional challenges experienced through government mergers are curbed. Budget allocation ensures that resources are put in the right use and also diversion of resources to areas that are not of priority is prevented. . The government was found to be taking advanced steps to ensure that technology in terms of software, hardware, systems and other ICT equipment’s were properly utilized and improved. The study recommended that there should be close monitoring of systems to reduce failure of equipment’s that are necessary in the provision of government services and employees should undergo progressive training to ensure that they are updated with the emerging technologies in the GPO Huduma Center.