1.1 Background of the study
There are many challenges which hinder the delivery of public service reforms in Africa (Lienert, 2003). The factors include those relating to human resources like manpower deficiencies and lack of psychological dispositions and shortage of financial and material resources necessary for effective delivery of services. The problems of accountability as well as ethical issues also continue to affect effective delivery of public service.
In an effort to mitigate some of these challenges, the Government of Kenya (GOK) has in the past launched several reform programs to improve service delivery. Some of these reform efforts include the Civil Service
Reform Program (CSRP) (GOK, 1993) whose aim was to enhance public service efficiency and productivity. The program was designed to contain costs, improve performance in the public sector, and consolidate and sustain the gains made by reform initiatives (Opiyo, 2006).
The other reform initiatives included the implementation of Results – Based Management that was guided by
Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment creation (GOK, 2003) whose strategies included developing benchmarks and evaluating the performance of public institutions. In order to enhance the performance of public officers, the government introduced a program where rewards and sanctions were to be used to encourage provision of quality services in the public sector. This paved way for the piloting of the process of in state corporations in 2003 which saw the introduction and implementation of performance appraisals in the entire public sector. Most firms in Kenya now employ some performance appraisal system (GOK, 2009). The
Performance Appraisal System (PAS) was introduced by the GOK to refocus the mind of the public from a culture of inward looking to a culture of businesslike environment, focused on the customer and results in addition to improving service delivery (Obong'o, 2009).