In Summary
  • In President Uhuru Kenyatta’s various pronouncements, he has warned public servants against corruption and sloth.
  • As citizens, it’s time we called out those sleeping on the job and demand delivery of quality services since we pay for them through taxes.
  • When a forensic audit is done on procurement in the devolved units in 2013-2017, the National Youth Service scandal will look like child play.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has struck the right cord and must be supported by all to keep his eye on the ball for the desired results in the fight against corruption.

It is amazing that, except for salaries — whether in the public or private sector — any other expenditure is through supply chain process and yet not much attention is given to the calibre of officers who carry out this noble assignment.

It is inimical to good governance to have unprepared shepherds superintend such a critical function, determining profits or losses for organisations. Supply chain needs to be elevated to a strategic function for organisations to savour its worth.

The Constitution is the supreme law, the instrument of governance — albeit in general principles. To be effective, this charter is then subjected to enactment of various pieces of legislation (statutes) to address the ‘what’ aspect. Life is breathed into the statute through regulations. This explains the ‘how’ — the software on which the statute runs or is applied.

RELEVANT REGULATIONS

It’s a rarity to find a law that has been effected without relevant regulations. When that happens, it can only portend chaos.

Surprisingly, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act (PPADA) 2015 was operationalised on January 7, 2016 with a caveat to create regulations for it within 12 months. That has not happened and there is no communication on it from the National Treasury.

In the President’s various pronouncements, he has warned public servants against corruption and sloth. As citizens, it’s time we called out those sleeping on the job and demand delivery of quality services since we pay for them through taxes.

The confusion and cost to the taxpayer caused by non-promulgation of the regulations may be hard to quantify or even contemplate but are enormous.

Mr Philip Kinisu, the then-Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman, stated that we lose, on average, a third of the annual budget through corruption. That would be around Sh650 billion. Any reasonable person would want to save such huge sums of money for good causes, such as financing the ‘Big Four’ agenda.

PROCUREMENT PROCESS

A properly structured procurement process devoid of guesswork or ‘cooked’ documentation is urgent. And the confusion in counties is even more telling. When a forensic audit is done on procurement in the devolved units in 2013-2017, the National Youth Service scandal will look like child play.

Without valid regulations, procurement officers grope in the dark and make costly mistakes. Additionally, crooked people lurk in the wings, capitalising on the lacuna, albeit fraudulently.

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