In Summary
  • Corruption starts with rigging up the public procurement system, regulated through the Public Procurement Oversight Authority.
  • The creation of PPOA and implementation of Ifmis were supposed to strengthen the legal and regulatory machinery of public service delivery.

The war on corruption is painfully getting tougher. As grand corruption and abuse of office cases collapse in court, the hope of the prosecutors slaying the proverbial dragon gets dimmer.

The anti-corruption forces, led by Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji and the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, seem to be fighting a losing battle.

They can’t push convictions through a hostile legal maze. They are also overwhelmed by the pile-up of new files on corruption and mismanagement of public funds that need their attention.

The message from corruption cartels is simple and clear: They are fighting back viciously and biting deep into the forces that President Uhuru Kenyatta has marshalled to dismantle the graft networks embedded in the public procurement and payment system.

IFMIS

If Goldenberg, Anglo Leasing and other notorious corruption cases haven’t been solved for decades, it might be too much to expect that the gatekeepers of the judicial system have now seen the light and appreciate the urgency with which the cases before them should be resolved.

The biggest setback to the war against corruption lies in the due process that the criminal networks exploit to plunder public resources and protect their loot.

Corruption starts with rigging up the public procurement system, regulated through the Public Procurement Oversight Authority.

It is then processed through the public payments system by exploiting loopholes in the Integrated Financial Management Information System.

The creation of PPOA and implementation of Ifmis were supposed to strengthen the legal and regulatory machinery of public service delivery.

REFORMS

But since they have failed to control corruption in the public procurement and payment system, the government should re-assess its strategy and explore radical options of dealing with the vice that now poses one of the greatest risks to economic stability.

The critical step is to arrest the predatory behaviour at the tender and payment stages — to prevent corruption at conception.

This would be more effective than chasing after the horse when it has bolted.

It should be the entry point to extensive reforms to strengthen governance and accountability of the procurement and payment system.

Reforms should include new and innovative ways of fighting corruption.

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