In a strange move, Sammy Buruchara, change manager, acting CEO (etc) at Kenic, the .ke registry, has issued termination letters to three employees on the payroll, in a move likely to cause friction within the government.

The move comes barely a week after Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of information and communication announced plans to increase government influence at the Kenic board.

Now, the board and the CEO seem to have pulled the rug on Ndemo’s intentions, because if there are no employees, what will the board be doing, therefore nullifying Ndemo’s intention.

To digress a bit, this is not the first time Kenic has defied the PS. Last month, Kenic undertook to sponsor and foot the cost of Kenya IGF under a body constituted by the PS. After the event, Buruchara threw a tantrum and said he can not pay because the Kenya IGF committee formed by the PS had no legal standing. Apparently the agreement was that Kenic would pay suppliers directly but the promise was reneged. The event was held at Jacaranda and one of the organizers, Grace Githaiga, is at a loss, wondering how to pay Ksh. 130,000 as the stand off between the Kenic board and the PS continues.

Anyway, back to the employee termination story, the excuse is that so many of these actions are being taken after the institutional assessment, I have read the document and this is what it says…..

“Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Review the strategic plan to make it SMARTER and include pertinent chapters that were missing; Align the budget, organizational structure and systems to the Strategic plan
  2. Develop a marketing strategy for ease of implementation of the strategic plan.
  3. Review existing policies (Human Resource, Finance, Procurement & Information Technology) in alignment to the laws of Kenya and corporate best practise. Design Business continuity and Risk Management policies and procedures.
  4. Review board charter and align it to the Memorandum and Articles of association and corporate best practise. Review KeNIC’s stakeholders and bring on board, stakeholders who will add value to KeNIC and support it deliver on its mandate.”

Now, I do not understand why the board would terminate all employees, its not like .ke registry is a matatu where you fire a driver in the morning and immediately get another one to replace. How do you get a system admin to run the registry, learn and run its back ups etc.

According to the Institutional Assessment, “the Kenic board reviewed the staff salaries in 2011 and provided increments of 32%,50% and 38% for staff in grade M1,M2 and M3.It is not clear how this increments were arrived at though the Board’s aim was to incentivise the staff to perform in implementing the strategic plan.”

I have read the document and I cannot see the recommendation that all employees should be terminated, how about business continuity? I have written to Buruchara asking for further info on the contingency plan but he hasn’t responded, as soon as he does, I will copy paste the response 🙂

Just to be clear, Kenic has three (3) full time employees and a board of Seven (7) members to oversee the operations 🙂

Here is the Institutional Assessment of the growth in the past nine years…

 .Ke Domain Names Growth

Year Domains Growth % growth
2003 2218
2004 2961 743 33%
2005 3733 772 26%
2006 5625 1892 50%
2007 6600 975 17%
2008 10000 3400 51%
2009 12,200 2200 22%
2010 15300 3100 25%
2011 20061 4761 15%

On a separate note, TESPOK has proposed to take over technical operations at Kenic. Here is the proposal brief on what Kenic and TESPOK responsibilities will be.

KENIC will attend to the following responsibilities:

  1. Act as a trustee for the .ke country-code-top-level-domain
  2. Become the .ke domain administrative contact
  3. Oversee the administration of the .ke ccTLD and its Second Level Domains
  4. Ensure a cost-effective administration of the .ke ccTLD and its subdomains
  5. Notify the Internet Corporation of Names and Numbers (ICANN) of any change to the contact information about ccTLD
  6. Allow ICANN to access .ke zone files and registration data (up to date development).
  7. Ensure appropriate billing and collections for all domains registered under .ke
  8. Outsource the technical operations of the .KE registry
  9. Conduct periodic audits of the system and financials

TESPOK will be responsible for:

  1. Provide Domain name Registry services for all .ke, and ensure that the database is secure and stable
  2. Maintain and promote the operational stability and use if the .ke ccTLD
  3. Manage system operations, upgrades, implement new features and technologies as well as technical changes to the .ke database as instructed by KENIC at no additional costs to KENIC
  4. Provide the technical back-end solution for .KE DNS, WHOIS, Network Security, Data Escrow and Billing
  5. Provide appropriate skill sets and expertise to handle the .ke technical requirements
  6. Avail all relevant information to facilitate decision making as and when required by KENIC