By LABAN WANAMBISI, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 6 - The National Assembly on Thursday approved the National Youth Service Bill with amendments which included reducing the ranks in the command structure from 21 to 17.
Teso North MP Oku Kaunya moved the amendment to scrap off the ranks of Senior Sergent Major, Senior Major under the Subordinate Officers level.
The post of Under Officers which comprise the ranking of Senior Serviceman 1, Senior Serviceman 2 and Serviceman were also done deleted.
The former Deputy Provincial Administrator said the Service's bloated ranking structure needed to be re-organized to align with others in the disciplined forces.
"The ranking structure was too heavy and for disciplined forces the question of command and control is very important and it should be sharp. If you check the military they have 17 rankings while at the National Police Service they now have 14 rankings, so the idea is to reduce the rankings," Kaunya explained.
The Service will now have the following positions under the Gazetted Officers ranking; Director- General, Deputy Director General, Director, Senior Deputy Director, Deputy Director, Senior Assistant Director, Assistant Director, Senior Superintendent and Superintendent.
The ranking of Inspectorate officers will remain the same and will be comprised of Chief Inspector, Inspector and Cadet Inspector.
Senior Sergeant, Sergeant, Corporal and Private will now make up the ranking under Subordinate Officers.
MPs also approved an amendment that will see current and past NYS Servicemen get priority during military, Kenya Coast Guard and National Police Service recruitment exercises.
"There is a Presidential Directive that NYS graduands be absorbed in the military and the disciplined forces as quickly as they are done with the training they be given the opportunity or priority," Labour and Social Welfare Committee Chairman Ali Wario
Majority Leader Aden Duale added: "when we are recruiting for the disciplined forces or any other government institutions, priority should be given to the youth who have graduated or are serving in the NYS. This will help the country mop up the youth from all constituencies and will give them an incentive to join the NYS."
Future NYS Director-Generals will in future be appointed from the within the Service after MPs supported an amendment to that effect with Duale and Wario saying that this will improve staff morale with the unit.
"The justification for this amendment to is to encourage those in the NYS to be appointed from within the ranks off the NYS than always bringing them from outside," said the House Labour and Social Welfare Committee Chairman as he proposed the amendment.
Duale supported the amendment while noting that, 'the mess that we are currently in at the NYS, in fact took place at the time we brought the Director-Generals from outside the Service'.