The Difference Between a Public & State Officer

Who is a public officer and a state officer in Kenya? This article intends to provide an answer. The Constitution of Kenya makes several mentions of the terms public officer and state officer. These two terms refer to different people who hold offices in government.

Under Article 260 of the Kenyan Constitution, “State”, when used as a noun, means the collectivity of offices, organs and other entities comprising the government of the Republic under the Constitution.

Who is a public officer in Kenya? According to the Public Officers Ethics Act, a “public officer” in Kenya means any officer, employee or member, including an unpaid, part-time or temporary officer, employee or member, of any of the following-

  • the (national) Government or any department, service or undertaking of the Government;
  • the National Assembly or the Parliamentary Service;
  • a local authority (such as a county government);
  • any corporation, council, board, committee or other body which has the power to act under and for the purposes of any written law relating to local government, public health or undertakings of public utility or otherwise to administer funds belonging to or granted by the Government or money raised by rates, taxes or charges in pursuance of any such law;
  • a co-operative society established under the Co-operative Societies Act; (Provided that the Public Officers Ethics Act should apply to an officer of a co-operative society within the meaning of the Act.)
  • a public university;
  • any other body prescribed by regulation for the purposes of this paragraph;

Examples of public officers in Kenya include public school teachers, public university lecturers and doctors and nurses in public hospitals.

Additionally, who is a state officer in Kenya? Based on Article 260 of the Kenyan Constitution that defines “State office”, the list of state officers in Kenya consists of the–

“State officer” means a person holding a State office. Therefore, a state officer in Kenya is a public officer, but not all public officers are state officers. Every person who holds a public office in Kenya is a public officer.

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George Githinji

I love writing content that is insightful and informative. The articles I write have a common #1 goal: Keeping it as simple as possible for users to understand the content.

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