Transparency and Accountability in the Cooperatives Sector Key for Social-Economic Development

Transparency and Accountability in the Cooperatives Sector Key for Social-Economic Development

27:04:2021: EACC in collaboration with the State Department for Cooperatives held integrity webinars for officials and staff of Financial Cooperatives from Uasin Gishu and Nyeri Counties on 21st and 22nd April, 2021. The webinars were organized to build capacity in financial cooperatives within these counties on matters of Ethics and Integrity.

The Commission and the State Department for Cooperatives has a framework of collaboration and partnership arising from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties on 25th March 2019. It is against this background that these webinars were organized to deepen the existing collaboration arrangement by way of enhancing the capacity of the Cooperative Sector in combating and preventing corruption.

EACC recognizes the integral role of the Cooperatives Sector as a driver of economic growth since it contributes about 30 per cent of the national savings and employs more than 500,000 Kenyans directly and another 1.5 million indirectly, according to the reports by the State Department.

In equal measure, the SACCOs are key players in realization of Vision 2030 through mobilization of savings for the Country’s investment needs. Given the asset base that this sector controls which is over one trillion shillings and a loan portfolio exceeding Kshs. 700 Billion as at 2017, the sector is therefore of interest to the Commission.

Resources of such high value warrant appropriate internal controls, sound leadership, transparency and accountability. The need to uphold integrity in the management of resources entrusted to cooperatives in the form of hard-earned savings by Kenyans cannot be over emphasized.

Since 2013, the Commission has received 372 complaints on allegations of corruption and unethical conduct within the Cooperatives Sector. A total of 47 complaints, upon analysis were found to be within the mandate of the Commission and hence taken up for investigations. The rest were referred to other relevant Agencies and advisories thereof issued to the complainants.

Out of the total complaints received both low level and high-level officials were involved. These officials constituted officers and managers of the cooperative societies. Middle level officials who are mostly managers engaged in maladministration of the societies.

Further, there were 27 reports touching on Chairpersons and CEOs of a number of cooperative societies. These are serious matters which render ordinary members vulnerable to loss of their savings and which in turn endanger livelihoods and the country’s economy.

Consequently, the Commission designed this training program as a pro-active intervention to create awareness among cooperative societies, to equip them with the appropriate knowledge, skills and tools to advance integrity in this important sector.

EACC remains committed to building capacity of the Cooperatives Sector workers to prevent corruption and enhance accountability mechanisms in the administration of the cooperative movements in the country.

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