According to the recent audit and survey released by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, Kisumu and Homabay counties have been identified to suffer from mismanagement of resources due to cases of open disregard for procurement regulations and financial management laws, among a host of other flaws.
Among its other findings, the audit revealed loopholes that have led to incomplete or inaccurate financial reports; payments for uncertified works; un-surrendered imprests; false claims for allowances; conflicts of interest and insider trading.
In Kisumu, for instance, a County Assembly member is cited as having received millions of shillings in per diems without following the laid down procedure. The audits were done by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the findings are contained in the agency’s Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) reports. The audits focused on the counties management systems, policies, practices and procedures.
Speaking during the presentation of the CRA report to the Kisumu Governor and the Assembly Speaker, EACC Vice-Chair Commissioner Sophia Lepuchirit noted that it would form one of the guiding principles in the county’s transition process.
In a similar presentation in Homabay, Commissioner Rose Mghoi said corruption prevention was key because “it endeavors to provide an institutional culture that promotes integrity; systems that reduce opportunities for corrupt conduct; and, ensures that those who try to circumvent are easily identified and sanctioned”. That, she added, was what the CRA reports attempt to achieve by providing recommendations targeting the areas that are reviewed.
She urged county officials to foster high ethical standards through concerted efforts to re-orient the culture in the government towards people-driven service delivery. She further called upon senior county officials to cascade a positive organisational culture to staff at the lowest levels. Failure to develop a positive organizational culture is a trigger for the emergence of brokers, leading to extortion of service seekers, thus tainting the image of the County,” she added.
Commissioner Mghoi urged the county government to implement the CRA recommendations and pledged the Commissions support. The Commission expects that after the presentation of the reports, the County Executive and Assembly will prepare respective plans/ schedules for implementation, which should be submitted to EACC within a period of one month from the date of the presentation. The plans will help the EACC monitor the implementation and address any emerging issues.
According to the reports posted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption on October 9th, the audits were conducted in line with the EACC’s mandate as stipulated in section 11 (1) (g) and (i) of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2011, which states that the Commission shall:
- Advise, on its own initiative, any person on any matter within its functions;
- Subject to article 31 of the Constitution, monitor the practices and procedures of public bodies to detect corrupt practices and to secure the revision of methods of work or procedures that may be conducive to corruption practices.
The objectives of the audits are to review the systems, policies, procedures and practices of work at the County executive and assembly in order to identify and profile weaknesses, loopholes, avenues and opportunities for corruption, and make recommendations and offer appropriate advice on ways and means of streamlining the systems and sealing the identified loopholes in order to prevent corruption and enhance service delivery to the people.
This report is courtesy of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission.