• April 18, 2024
  • Last Update April 18, 2024 6:55 PM
  • Nairobi

Government puts corrupt public servants on notice

Government puts corrupt public servants on notice

Naivasha,

Thursday, April 4, 2024

KNA by Erastus Gichohi

The government will not condone public servants engaging in corrupt deals but will instead take swift legal and administrative actions to tame the vice.

Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei, sounded the warning saying servants found culpable of the offence will have their ill-gotten assets frozen corruption and held by state as deterrent in a move aimed at containing increased incidences of graft in public institutions.

He said the government was currently undertaking a scrutiny of public servants accounts and stock of assets owned before swift legal actions are taken against those found suspect.

Koskei who decried the runaway graft in public offices singled out the procurement, accounts and finance departments as the most fertile grounds for corruption incidences due to interests of billions of shillings under their watch.

Koskei said corruption within government is a thorny issue which has derailed development agenda, hampered service delivery, led to loss of public resources and has tainted Kenya’s image in the international stage.

Speaking in Naivasha during the official opening of Women in Procurement and Supply Chains Conference, Koskei said the government has tightened the noose on corruption and has adopted no tolerance policy in any ranks across the board.

The Chief of Staff regretted the increase in costs of bribery which had risen to sh. 11,625 in 2023 from sh. 6,865 in 2022 as reported by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

“The government is analyzing exposed individuals’ accounts with some already recorded statements and those found culpable will take personal responsibility for their acts of omission and commission”, said Koskei.   

Koskei assured that with the current political goodwill, the era of ‘sacred cows and calls from above’ are over, noting that no one will be spared by the unleashed anti-corruption sword.

In addition, he said procurement personnel must seal all loopholes that lead to loss of public funds through means such as manipulation of procurement information and sharing with potential tenderers, soliciting awards from supplies and directing payments to proxies.

“Procurements professionals can make or break the corruption stranglehold and help stem the tide that is threatening the country existence”, Koskei said. 

Consequently, Koskei the government agencies in the entire value chain including Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Director of Criminal investigations and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has been empowered financially to rein in graft culprits.

He regretted that through compromise of public officers, the country has witnessed collapsed buildings due to lack of following due processes, deaths occasioned by counterfeits and substandard goods, accidents due to substandard road designs among others.

On the ongoing scrutiny of pending bills, Koskei said the committee formed to review the bills is on course to ensure bills forwarded are merited before the governments commit payments.

He said the committee chaired by the former Attorney General Edward Ouko will table its report in a months’ time adding that only genuine bills and those that followed procurement laws will be paid.

On corruption, EACC latest report on National Ethics and Corruption Survey [2023] indicates that six out of 10 Kenya’s perceive corruption in the country to be high with bribes, favoritism, abuse of office and nepotism leading the charge.

The report flagged the Police, Immigration Department and the Registrar of persons as government departments perceived to be most prone to corruption with greed and desire for quick services being the major drives of the vice.

In addition, the EACC Strategic Plan 2018 – 2023 indicated that the commission successfully recovered corruptly acquired assets worth sh. 28 billion while disrupting activities that could have led to loss of sh. 39.2 billion of public funds.

In the same period, the commission supported prosecution of corruption and economic crimes in courts resulting in 168 convictions which the commission attributes to intelligence led investigations which led to timely interventions.

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