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City Hall sets aside Sh183m to improve customer care

City Hall has set aside a Sh183 million budget to train its staff on better customer service in an effort to shed the negative tag associated with its poor service delivery.

The culture change training targets over 13,000 county employees and is awaiting the green light of the county executive committee.

“A lead consultant—JMG Strategy Consultants, has been identified to guide the county on the culture change programme in consultation with other key partners like Kenya School of Government and Daystar University,” noted a memorandum prepared by the Public Service Executive Mercy Kamau.

The training of all staff together with costs of carrying out surveys, the launch of the project and production of reports will cost the county Sh136 million.

T-SHIRTS FOR ALL STAFF

A further Sh46.9 million will be spent in setting up a staff wellness centre, procurement of staff cards and printing of shirts and T-shirts for all staff.

The cost represents a significant part of the overall 2015/16 budget of Sh28.9 billion (excluding the Assembly’s outlay) for a county that is struggling to provide efficient services and looks likely to miss its revenue targets by several billion shillings.

The training is designed to be carried out in three phases with the phase one targeting the top management who include the governor, his deputy, CECs, directors and sub-county administrators. This will take four days.

Phase two which will take 30 days will target middle level management (deputy directors, heads of sections, ward administrators) at the Kenya School of Government.

“Phase three will include clustering all other staff and conducting training and other activities in various forums and venues,” the memorandum says.

It is unclear when the training is likely to start but a retreat for the top management is scheduled to take place this month in Naivasha in readiness for the launch of phase one.

RUDENESS

Among the vices listed that the training is seeking to cure are high levels of absenteeism, corruption, unresponsiveness to customer needs, rudeness, indiscipline, alcohol abuse, cruelty and low performance.

“Nairobi City County Government’s compromised culture is well captured in various reports, surveys, media reports including the EACC corruption report…customer and employee satisfaction survey reports, almost daily media reports- newspapers, TV, social media etc,” the memorandum adds.

The county has been criticised for poor handling of its duties despite having a lot of workers who consume more than half of its budget in wages.

Among the key areas of underperformance are garbage collection and mistreatment of city residents by the county askaris.

Several county officers are also implicated in corruption scandals, most prominently those involving land and siphoning of county revenues.