Factors affecting the performance of government oversight agencies in Kenya: a case of Kenya National audit office
Muriuki, Patrick Kinyanjui
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Performance is about output, results and their outcomes obtained from processes, products, and services that permit evaluation and comparison relative to goals, standards, past results, and other organizations. Performance can be expressed in non-financial and financial terms. It is worth noting that performance measurement is a requirement for benchmarking and business excellence. Performance measurement is an ongoing activity for all managers and their subordinates and is a critical component of the human resource management function in the public service. In its mission to improve all-round public service performance, the government identified the need to attain effective, efficient and timely public service for Kenyan citizens. This process has started off well with the institution of results based management, performance contracting and service charters to name but a few. Government oversight bodies are mandated to oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of public service delivery across all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. It is within this backdrop that the this study sought to establish the factors affecting the performance of these oversight bodies in Kenya and focused on staff competencies, target setting, work planning, adequacy of budget allocation and staff motivation as factors affecting the performance of government oversight bodies in Kenya. A descriptive research design was used. Simple random sampling was applied on KENAO'S staff level of 928 employees to select 94 respondents. A semi structured questionnaire was administered through drop and pick method. Descriptive statistics such as the mean, standard deviation and frequency distribution was used to analyze the data. Tables were used to present the data collected for ease of understanding and analysis. The study showed that a majority of the employees have minimal education in professional levels. There is low motivation, Lack of adequate training leading to a high staff turnover. There are no proper work plans and tools, targets set are not flexible and lack of financing including staff remuneration. These factors have contributed to a very great extent to the dismal performance of oversight function in KENAO. The study recommends that the government, donors and other stakeholders should offer training that enhance work proficiency through workshops and seminars and other long term training opportunities to enable employees acquire relevant knowledge to manage their work properly. This study also recommends that the government should provide adequate support and resources to oversight bodies to conduct their work as threats from executive control, lack of budget support and independence affect their ability to execute their mandate and report adequately. Oversight bodies should increase their budget requests to an amount that will enable them to increase their coverage to all departments and agencies. Oversight bodies should also use a more comprehensive performance measurement standard and not only rely on work coverage that measures the volume of work done.