MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES
From KWS's inception, internal and external complaints about the organization have revolved around the cumbersome nature of its administrative procedures. To address this problem, the board authorized a new position, that of Senior Deputy Director (SDD), Finance and Administration, charged with the duty of streamlining procedures and resolving a range of problems related to financial reporting and responsibility.
As part of this process, a number of departments or units that once functioned autonomously and reported to the Director have been brought together under the direction of the SDD and are now known collectively as Management Support Services.
FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING
A Finance Committee oversaw the operations of the Finance and Accounting Department until March 1996 and is now headed by the Consultant Financial Controller, appointed in May.
The department's first priority during the year was to provide audited accounts for 1994-95 and process the financial reporting backlog for 1995-96. With temporary accountants hired through Coopers & Lybrand with support from ODA, these tasks were accomplished, the 1995-96 accounts were finalized and 1996-97 reporting was brought up to date, bringing the department closer to its goal of supplying KWS managers with timely reports to facilitate the decision-making process.
With assistance from Peat Marwick and support from ODA, the department conducted a valuation of KWS's fixed assets, a task that was not performed seven years ago, when the new parastatal took over from the government-run Wildlife Conservation and Management Department (WCMD). Under the Financial Systems Improvement Project (FSIP) supported by ODA, the department completed implementation of the general ledger and payroll systems, initiated in 1995. The inventory module is partially complete, and the business modelling and fixed-assets modules are scheduled for implementation in 1997.
Finance and Accounting has been restructured to make it lean and efficient enough to respond effectively to the needs of the new regions. The new structure emphasizes revenue collection and accounting, provision of management reports and expenditure control. The department expects that these services will add value to the performance of other KWS departments.
As the organization-wide restructuring continues, the department anticipates devolving financial systems to the regions in 1997. Headquarters staff will retain the job of consolidating data, producing reports and formulating policy guidelines.
In anticipation of these changes, the department has begun devising training and other strategies for dealing with the many challenges expected to arise from devolution.
Once the new structure and financial systems have been fully implemented, the Finance and Accounting Department will have the necessary tools and personnel to maximize KWS's revenue collection, manage its cash and control expenditures so as to enable the organization to realize its full potential.
PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLIES
In planning KWS's restructuring, the Strategic Planning Team felt that streamlining procurement procedures presented an opportunity to score "quick gains", simultaneously easing the bureaucratic burden and introducing new practices with effects that would be quickly felt and approached throughout the organization.
In July, the board authorized department heads and RADS to initiate the purchase of budgeted items of up to Kshs 500,000 in value without seeking permission from a higher authority. Purchases involving larger amounts still must be approved by either the Central Tender Committee or the Board Tender Committee, but the net effect has been a substantial reduction in procurement time scales. The new practice went into effect at headquarters in August but was delayed until December in the field to enable regional personnel to receive training in procedures.
To support the devolution of procurement processes, Procurement and Supplies is working to expand the list of pre-approved KWS suppliers and continuously monitors acquisitions to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
Once restructuring is complete, training in supplies for non-supplies managers and supply chain management is planned with the support of the ODA, to ensure that decentralization does not lead to inefficiency and overstocking.
Now that the fixed assets inventory is complete, the department anticipates disposing of obsolete and unserviceable items in the field through tendering, simultaneously ensuring that litter is removed from KWS compounds and realizing some revenue.
Personnel, through enhanced communications, will also be encouraged to pool resources whenever possible as a means of further reducing costs. The pooling of headquarters vehicles, introduced in June, has proved highly effective, with fuel-expenditure savings of approximately 30%. Vehicle pooling will be introduced in the field when restructuring is complete.
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
In overseeing implementation of the Financial Systems Improvement Project, Management Information Services (MIS) Department expertise was called upon to set up a localized computer network for accounting personnel. This has enabled KWS accountants, for the first time, to directly input financial data at their own desks instead of writing out entries by hand for computer operators to input later, eliminating transcription errors and the financial reporting backlog.
With respect to planning, in conjunction with external consultants and Finance Department, the department identified ADAYTUM, an off-the-shelf software package that offers multiple options for answering "what if" questions, manipulating data to produce enhanced management information for budgeting and strategic planning, forecasting, activity-based costing, manpower planning, profitability analysis and business-process re-engineering.
By the end of October, MIS set up a computer network in Ndovu Court to provide senior managers with access to on-line financial data. With the network in place, Ndovu Court is also participating in a two-month document-imaging trial to assess whether a "paperless office" environment is feasible for KWS. Networking of the entire organization to permit inter-regional communication and devolution of financial systems from headquarters to the regions is planned for completion by mid-1997.
In November, MIS acquired Fleetbase, a fleet-management programme that will allow the KWS vehicle pool to operate a more efficient motor running cost system under the regionalized structure.
MIS has also recommended that KWS standardized office operates with Microsoft Office, a move that will eliminate confusion and wasted time resulting from the use of multiple word processing, spreadsheet, database and other software programmes and enhance transferability of data, common-user data and menu navigation. IDA has provided funding for training in the range of Microsoft products.
To improve capture, analysis and display of biological and environmental data, MIS has recommended various improvements to KWS's GIS network, including enhanced communication between the various GIS systems.
MIS is also looking into the computerization of revenue collection. Aside from reducing long-term costs, gate computerization offers the opportunity to collect data on such important topics as visitor satisfaction and repeat visits and could enhance monitoring of performance targets for individual parks and new attractions.
During the year, MIS provided support to Corporate Communications to enhance its desk top publishing unit and liaised with the Technical Department in the investigation of various data-transfer and communications options for the regional headquarters, including on-line communication via VSAT satellite.
HUMAN RESOURCES AND ADMINISTRATION
In human resources terms, the restructuring of KWS has involved flattening the organization's hierachical structure, which was inimical to rapid decision making and concentrated attention and resources away from the field, where the most important work in support of the organization's biodiversity, partnership and sustainable nature tourism goals takes place.
To ensure that the restructuring process is grounded in sound human-resource management principles, the department was called upon to perform a number of specialized tasks. These included organizational and workforce analyses; job evaluation, classification and grading; preparation of a training strategy and plan for 1997-98; and recruitment and selection activities (job advertisement, management and competency assessment, and structured interviews).
Alongside the restructuring, the Human Resources and Administration Department revised the job analysis it completed in 1995. The recently installed Performance Management and Career Development (PMCD) system, an analytical tool that links employees' activities to organizational goals, also has been revised to reflect KWS's new strategic direction. In addition, the department conducted an employee medical scheme survey and commenced rationalization of allowances, both with the goal of streamlining employee benefits to make them more equitable and cost-effective.
In recruiting personnel for the smaller number of jobs available within the lean but friendlier new structure, the emphasis has been on the ability to perform complex tasks requiring multiple skills. The goal is to elicit superior performance, continuity and the desired customer focus from employees, who stand to benefit from the emphasis on merit rather than seniority and a revised remuneration structure that links pay to performance.
Most employee training was suspended pending completion of the restructuring and retrenchment exercise to avoid wasting limited resources by training the wrong people in the wrong skills. The department has moved ahead, however, with plans to introduce functional literacy training for about one-third of the ranger force of 1,500, because increased literacy will enable them to perform the more complex research-support duties that will be required in the decentralized KWS.
From May to June, the department supervised implementation of the transport pooling system designed and approved in 1995. Cost reductions were immediate, with approximately Kshs. 2 million saved by the year's end. Restructuring of similarly inefficient processes involving the radio network, internal mail system and messenger service is also under way.
Because of the multitude of changes taking place within the organization, the Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual approved by the board in 1995 is no longer current. Human Resources and Administration embarked upon revision in August, which will be completed alongside the restructuring exercise in mid-1997.
KWS TRAINING INSTITUTE
KWS inherited the Naivasha Wildlife and Fisheries Training Institute from the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife in 1993. Renamed the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI), the facility is charged with providing short, skills-oriented courses to KWS staff on topics as diverse as computer literacy and new conservation trends. In addition to the main campus, the institute's facilities include a game farm, fisheries annex and nature trail.
With training activity in low gear during the restructuring exercise, KWSTI's central location provided a convenient setting for the restructuring interviews held from August to December, enabling the institute's personnel to concentrate on curriculum development, a junior officers' course held from March to September and a marine rangers' course held from September to October. The institute expects to generate significant income by offering short courses to other organizations during quiet KWS periods.
The waters of Naivasha and the surrounding land experience a host of environmental stresses, and KWSTI has become very much involved in the community's search for solutions. To promote good relations with people living in the neighbouring wildlife dispersal area, the institute expanded a pipeline system to supply water for members of the community and their livestock. In addition, an existing structure was converted into a nursery school for the local people. School groups as far away as Laikipia visit the institute for lectures on conservation, and the Lake Naivasha Management Implementation Committee meets here.
The Netherlands government supports the institute's activities in numerous ways through the Wetlands Programme, most recently with the provision of ten vehicles; computer, telephone and kitchen equipment; boats; and funding for plant labelling along the nature trail and production of a guidebook. The Wetlands Programme is also pursuing funding through the Netherlands Embassy to rehabilitate the Naivasha Municipal Biological Sewage Treatment Plant, which collapsed in 1992, including the addition of a third purification phase utilizing papyrus.
The institute broadened its capacity-building network by signing an MoU with the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, which wishes to utilize KWSTI's facilities as a field school, and another with Van Hall Institute in the Netherlands authorizing the exchange of staff and students.
In October, tendering commenced for the Kshs 35 million rehabilitation of the institute under the PAWS programme, planned for February 1997. Improvements will include renovation of the hostel-style dormitories to create self-contained rooms for 20 as well as new classrooms, staff housing and a kitchen-dining hall complex.
The Legal Services Department continued to support KWS with activities ranging from advice on national and international legal issues, representation in legal forums, and drafting and vetting of legal and policy documents. In addition, it provided the secretariat for the Board of Trustees and its subcommittees and drafted all board papers, including minutes.
KWS's decision to formulate two major documents, the new national wildlife policy and the proposed Wildlife Act, necessitated the engagement of consultants to co-ordinate the comprehensive review of wildlife laws and assist in drafting the revised legislation that, when passed into law, will enable the organization to fulfill its mandate with full legal support.
The Lands Section merged with Legal Services, bringing all of the organization's legal personnel together and facilitating the massive task of regularizing ownership and title documents for all lands held by KWS, begun in 1996. Once this task is completed, KWS will be in a position to deal more effectively with land issues, including new gazettements.
Legal Services personnel continued to lend important support to community wildlife associations around the country, attending their meetings, providing legal advice and assisting with registration applications and other legal issues.
Members of the Legal Services Department represented KWS in several important international meetings including the Third Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Buenos Aires; a regional law enforcement meeting and CITES seminar in Arusha; the World Conservation Congress in Montreal; the third meeting of the Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves at UNESCO headquarters in Paris; and the Regional Conference on Forging Co-operation on Africa's Biosphere Reserves for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development and IUCN/CITES/African Elephant Range States meeting, both in Dakar.
| Tourism Department | Wildlife Department | Security Department |
| Technical Services Department |
| Management Support Services | Director's Office | Financial Report |
| Table of Contents |
Copyright © February 1997. All rights reserved.
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