Kenyans will soon be able to do their own audits of the public prosecutions office, which has set out to automate its case management system as part of a move to improve efficiency in landing convictions.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has revealed that Nairobi County is being used to pilot the Uadilifu digital platform, and soon the public will be able to view his office’s success rate through data in the case management system.
The case management system is part of a strategic plan recently released by the DPP’s office, and which is expected to be implemented over three years.
The strategic plan has attracted donors, who have poured in millions of shillings to see the DPP’s office play catch up with technology, which could help speed up the wheels of justice.
US-based lobby Lawyers Without Borders funded the Sh100 million case management system, which was developed by a team of Kenyan innovators.
All investigation files forwarded to the public prosecutions office will have to be logged into the system before prosecutors review the information and make the decision to charge, a move the DPP says will reduce chances of foul play.
This means that there will be no room for any rogue prosecutors to view files and use the information for financial gain, as the system will also provide a backup in the event that physical files go missing before charges have been approved against suspects.
Uadilifu has been linked to the Judiciary’s e-filing system, which will help in tracking case progress. The case management platform has also been linked to a digital human resource management system, which is expected to help in providing information that can be used to make crucial decisions on prosecutor deployment
. “It (Uadilifu) is the automation of the decision to charge process. Once a file comes in, before a prosecutor can review it, it has to be captured in the system. The public will also be able to audit the office.
You now can’t come and just say “I want someone in custody”.
“If, for example, there is a terrorism case, we quickly look at it and say “this person needs to be in custody because if they aren’t, then something will happen… So if there was miscarriage of justice, we are able to go back and do an audit to find out where the problem was,” Mr Haji told the Nation. Traditionally, the public has judged prosecution almost solely on high profile convictions, which are only a fraction of the total crime cases concluded in court.
Uadilifu will also be linked to a human resource management system that the DPP’s office is in the process of implementing.
The human resource management system was brought in following challenges in appraisals and lack of structures in transfer or staffers.
Through Uadilifu, the DPP will be able to know which crimes are most common in various parts of the country. At the same time, the human resource management system will be able to point out each prosecutor’s strong point, and the two sets of information will inform deployment. Prosecutors who have scored in nailing terror suspects will be deployed to areas where there is a high number of terrorism-related cases.
The DPP’s office is also putting up a training institute in Loresho, where prosecutors will undergo continuous training to keep up with changing laws and trends in the legal profession.
Nine new regional offices have also been put up to assist in speeding up the prosecution process.