Commission Strengthens Financial Accountability For Devolved Units

Commission Strengthens Financial Accountability For Devolved Units

County government administrators had an opportunity this week to review Draft Administrative Procedures for the management of Declarations of Income, Assets and Liabilities (DIALs) by public officers, which they are expected to validate and adopt.

The procedures, which were drafted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(EACC), were presented at a workshop on April 17 at the School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi. The workshop targeted County Secretaries and Secretaries/Chief Executive Officers of County Public Service Boards, and other stakeholders. It was officially opened by the Chair of the Council of Governors, Mr Josphat Nanok, who was accompanied by the EACC Chair, Retired Archbishop His Grace Eliud Wabukala.

Governor Nanok thanked the Commission for spearheading the process, welcoming it as a step towards the realization of a transparent and an accountable public service.

On his part, the EACC Chair highlighted the importance of County Public Service Boards as key players in the governance framework of the County Governments. He urged them to take the lead in ensuring public officials declared their income and assets to guard against public resources being used for private gain.

EACC Chair Rtd. Archbishop Eliud Wabukala delivers his speech during the opening of the validation and adoption workshop for draft administrative procedures for DIALs held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi

In his remarks, the Commission’s CEO, Mr Halakhe Waqo, stressed the need to hasten the validation of the procedures whose ultimate aim is to enhance transparency and accountability in the provision of public service.

EACC CEO addressing the participants during the Validation workshop.

After the validation workshops, the Commission will require each County Public Service Board and County Assembly Service Board to adopt and customize the procedures, publish them in the Kenya Gazette as required by law, and start their immediate implementation. As they do so, the Commission will continue to discharge its oversight and enforcement role to ensure full compliance.

It is expected that the implementation will enhance compliance with the law regarding financial disclosures by all state and public officers. This is expected to go a long way in reducing the levels of corruption reported in county governments.

Part IV of the Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003 requires all public officials to declare their income, assets and liabilities so as to ensure transparency and accountability as one of the strategies in the fight against corruption. Such declarations provide useful information to the Commission for detection of corruption through monitoring of the lifestyles and financial worth of public officials.

In order to facilitate the administration of the said financial disclosures, section 33(1) of POEA requires each Responsible Commission such as County Public Service Boards and County Assembly Service Boards, to establish administrative procedures to guide the implementation of financial disclosures by state and public officers. This is a condition that must be met by all Responsible Commissions (entities designated by law to enforce the Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003 to various categories of public officers) failure to which a public officer has no obligation to make their declaration.

County Public Service Boards and County Assembly Service Boards are the designated Responsible Commissions in relation to the officers serving in both arms of county governments. To-date, none of these boards has established the procedures. It is for this reason that, pursuant to Section 44 of the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012, which empowers and obligates EACC to provide advisory services towards compliance with the integrity laws, the Commission developed generic administrative procedures in order to support the County Public Service Boards and County Assembly Service Boards in developing their own by customizing these templates.

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