With a new constitutional dispensation in 2010, Kenya transitioned to a two tire system of government: National government and County governments. This was however actualized in the year 2013 following the general election. There being no systems and inadequate resources in place to run the County assemblies, the clerks then found it prudent to come up with a forum that would enable them share experiences and best practices that would strengthen the legislative arm of the County governments.
The Clerks who had been seconded from the Senate to the County Assemblies met in Nairobi in 2014 and agreed to form an association of the all the Clerks of the County Assemblies that would among other things create a platform for information sharing and capacity enhancement to help to harmonize the operations of all the County Assemblies. The Society of Clerks at the Table in Kenya Legislatures abbreviated as SOCATT (k) was registered as a society in Kenya in 2014.
At registration it was agreed that the Clerks of the County Assemblies would then pay an annual subscription to contribute to the institutional development and administration. An interim committee was established and it had a chairperson, the vice chairperson, treasurer, the secretary general and organizing secretary. The founding executive committee members were; Mr. Edward Libendi, the Clerk of Makueni County Assembly was the founding Chairperson of SOCATT, Mr. Jacob Ngwele the Clerk of the County Assembly of Nairobi was the founding Secretary General, Osman Mohammed the Clerk of the County Assembly of Wajir and the Vice Chairperson, Organising Secretary, Josephat Musambayi, former Clerk of the County Assembly of Vihiga and Purity Kamurunci the former Clerk of Nyandarua County Assembly was the Treasurer.
Through the stewardship of the above team SOCATT (K) was able to get its first premises at the Eagle House, Kimathi Street and its 1st members of staff; Christine Achieng’ and Maureen Korir. SOCATT has since grown and moved offices to the Transnational Plaza, Mama Ngina Street and the staff has increased from 2 to 8 members. The society’s first Executive Director Ms Edith Karwitha Imunde was appointed in January 2017.
The Society held its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Serena Amboseli on May 20th 2016 at which the interim leadership was elected into office and their term extended for one year. The second AGM in Lake Bogoria Spa on the 31st March 2017 saw the membership build consensus on the reviewed subscription fees and elect new office bearers. The membership has since 2014 met on quarterly basis to update on the progress of the society as well as agree on new innovations and practices that can be adapted. To this end SOCATT has held 6 General Meetings with the most monumental being a roundtable meeting held with the Clerk of Senate held on the 10th and 11th July 2017 that discussed transition management.
In its endevour to realize its mandate SOCATT (K) has nurtured and maintained relationships, partnerships and collaborations with like minded institutions within and without government, locally and internationally. The society has organized its membership into strategic committees that spearhead the realization of its mandate. The committees include the Human Resource Committee, Legal Committee, Finance Committee and the Procedure and Practice Committee; most of whom have notable successes such as the development of a County Assembly Scheme of Service by the Human Resource Committee. This Scheme of service formed part of the documents that were used by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission as a basis for the Job Evaluation Exercise for the County Assembly Service.
SOCATT (K) prides itself of several achievements including the negotiation on budget ceilings for the county assemblies, capacity building of County Assembly staff and the development of several models manuals for the county assembly including the Human Resource Manual, Committee Manual and the Procedure and Practice Manual. Capacity enhancement being at the core of the services of SOCATT to the County Assembly staff relationships have also been nurtured with development partners such the USAID through AHADI and internationally with Commonwealth Secretariat. Intergovernmental relations have been core to SOCATT (K) hence our continued engagement with Commission on Revenue Allocation, The National Treasury. The Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council, the Council of Governors, County Assembly Forum, the National Assembly and the Senate of Kenya.