Raila blasts absentee ministers

February 4, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – Prime Minster Raila Odinga on Friday refused to sign performance contracts for ministries whose Cabinet Ministers failed to show up for the ceremony at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

Mr Odinga said he was deeply disappointed in the ministers\’ absence and described them as “lacking seriousness in their duties.”

He argued that some Ministers had taken the annual exercise for granted and that they had developed a habit of sending their Permanent Secretaries to undertake their tasks.

The ceremony was for signing performance contracts for ministries and other government departments.

At the event, the Premier directed the Performance Contracting Department to enforce the implementation of service delivery charters in all public institutions after a survey revealed the sorry state of affairs in public offices.

The two-week fact finding mission by the department found service in key public facilities in a deplorable state with corruption thriving in all aspects of service delivery.

Consequently, the Premier directed the department which falls under his office to closely keep track of the operations in public facilities to ensure that the charters reflected the services offered at the institutions.

"Service to the ordinary citizen has not improved much. For instance, a survey done gave a poor picture of the public services including rampant corruption… once again let me state that the government will not tolerate any unethical behaviour from public officers," he said.

Mr Odinga said curbing corruption and the implementation of the Constitution were core parameters in shaping performance and were included as the sixth performance criteria and indicators in this years\’ appraisal.

The Premier singled out the current procurement procedures as a serious impediment to performance and directed the Finance Ministry to review the regulations in a consultative process.

Mr Odinga at the same time called for an end to the constant disagreements between ministers and permanent secretaries over implementation of government policies and urged them to coexist harmoniously in the spirit of national unity.

The Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura who was at the function recommended for fixed days to have the performance contracts signed and when their evaluation will be released, saying that institutionalising the exercise would strengthen performance contracting in the country.

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