Government moves to tackle graft in parastatals


Corruption stands in the nation’s journey to job creation, food security, poverty eradication, amongst others.

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The government has come up with new measures to fight corruption in its institutions.

This was announced at a meeting between Chief of Staff and Head of the Public Service Felix Koskei and procurement officers on Friday morning.

Mr Koskei said the government had identified a core team of 60 high-spending institutions to spearhead the fight against corruption.

"We intend to establish you as our critical mass that will drive the much needed ethical reform of the profession and make real change manifest," Mr Koskei said.

The consultative meeting, which brought together heads of procurement and supply chain management, was organised in partnership with the Kenya Institute of Supply Management (KISM).

Some of the government parastatals identified in this new anti-corruption push include Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC), Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) and the Council for Legal Education (CLE).

Mr Koskei told the meeting that President William Ruto's government will focus on a prevention strategy that will reduce the need and cost of investigations and prosecutions by limiting opportunities for corruption.

"Any procurement, even a simple LPO, puts you in the centre of the boxing ring, facing competing or conflicting interests. You will be battling calls from above, visits from politicians, pressure from superiors and inducements from potential bidders."

He reiterated that the government would not resort to witch-hunts in the fight against graft, and warned public officials caught in the act that they would be held accountable for their actions.

"His Excellency will not tolerate corruption at any level in government; and that all public officials will be held personally responsible for any breach of the legal and policy provisions governing the exercise of their respective powers in the use of public resources in the event of loss or misuse."

The Chief of Staff expressed confidence in the new strategy, saying that the government was confident of winning the war against graft.

"Georgia, for example, has significantly reduced corruption and tax revenues have more than doubled, increasing by 13 percentage points of GDP between 2003 and 2008. Rwanda's anti-corruption reforms since the mid-1990s have borne fruit, with tax revenues increasing by 6 percentage points of GDP."He urged civil servants to take advantage of their position in government.

"Your place as procurement officers today, in this administration, with me, your professional colleague, as your chief of staff and head of the civil service, offers the most strategic opportunity to nip this vice in the bud."

The meeting follows another consultative meeting for heads of administration, finance, accounts, supply chain management and internal audit held last month at the Kenya School of Government (KSG) in Kabete.

Among the panelists who made presentations at the meeting were representatives from the Auditor General, Attorney General, Public Procurement Regulatory Authority/Board (PPRA/B), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), National Treasury and the Head of Supplies Branch.