Your days are numbered; EACC to imprest abusers in counties
27:02:2022: The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(EACC) has urged public officials serving in counties to desist from abusing public funds currently witnessed through fictitious imprest and other malpractices.
Speaking during a corruption prevention program in Kisumu County Headquarters, EACC’s Western Regional Office head, Abraham Kemboi revealed that investigations into the vice are at an advanced stage.
Kemboi said that fraudulent imprest was a leading malpractice in county governments where officials take imprest for non-existent trips. He noted that in some counties, top officials were using junior officers as conduits for embezzlement of public funds through the imprest facility.
“The Commission is undertaking investigations targeting various corruption suspects in Kisumu county with a view to recommending their prosecution and/ or recovering any public funds stolen,” Kemboi added.
The Regional boss was launching the Commission’s follow-up exercise on the implementation of the recommendations of the Kisumu County Executive and Assembly Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) in Kisumu. Counties, he said, continue to posit a mixed bag of fortunes despite receiving approximately KES1.3 trillion for operations and development since the advent of Devolution 10 years ago.
Kemboi said that whereas some counties have progressed, others cannot fully account for the funds allocated to them. He said that the resource envelope is limited and called for prudent expenditure, underscoring the need to tackle corruption in the counties.
“Tackling corruption in county operations will enhance own source revenue, improve the delivery of projects and programmes and enhance confidence amongst residents,” he said.
The EACC Western Regional Office is responsible for three counties namely Kisumu, Siaya and Vihiga.
EACC’s Deputy Director in charge of corruption prevention Neema Nkorori said that Kisumu is one of the 26 county governments where the Commission has undertaken systems review.
The Commission carried out the CRA into the systems, policies, procedures practices and methods of work in Kisumu County in 2018. “The follow-ups, which will take a week each for the County Executive and Assembly, are to establish the levels of implementation progress,” said Ms Mkorori.
Mkorori noted that corruption prevention protects public resources, improves oversight over the Executive, reduces vulnerabilities in the systems of work, increases efficient use of resources, reduces injustices and unfairness, and enhances respect for the rule of law and avoidance of risks that may pose threats to all.
The Commission’s engagements with public institutions are pursuant to Section 11 1(g) and (h) of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2011. The provision states that in addition to the functions of the Commission under article 252 and chapter six of the constitution, the Commission shall, among others, advise on its own initiative, any person on any matter within its functions, monitor the practices and procedures of public bodies to detect corrupt practices and secure the revision of methods of work or procedures that may be conducive to corrupt practices, and undertake preventive measures against unethical and corrupt practices.