PPPs slowed by dark past

September 20, 2008

, NAIROBI, September 20 – Past hang-ups could be delaying the draft of a legal framework for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), according to the Civil Service boss Francis Muthaura.

Giving the example of an unsuccessful joint venture between the Petroleum Refinery and PanAfrica Paper Mills, Muthaura said on Friday that a new legislative outline to steer the PPPs must be fool-proof.
“You know, we’ve had a lot of experience in this area, the problem is that these experiences have not been entirely good and that’s why it’s very important to have a very clear legal framework within which we should get into,” he explained.

Speaking at a Public Service chief executives forum, Muthaura assured however that the draft framework, which has gone through the first reading by the relevant Cabinet committee, may be fully ready at the end of this year.

“As soon as the Ministry of Finance includes suggestions from the cabinet committee, we will push them so that this process does not take unnecessarily long and the paper is submitted to the Cabinet for approval and publication,” he said.

The framework is expected to be the core structure for executing the government’s economic blueprint – Vision 2030.

While launching the Vision earlier this year, Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya revealed that funding for the blueprint would be raised through PPP’s, and the public and private sectors have been demanding to know when the new regulations would be in place.
“There are so many projects in the pipeline just waiting for these guidelines,” said the Kenya Investment Authority Chief Executive, Susan Kikwai.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Public Service Dalmas Otieno has announced some government directives intended to introduce a change in the management of operations in the public sector.
Otieno said he intended to introduce more measurable productivity indicators and new peer review systems.

The Minister exacted that the individuals appointed to the public service sector boards would no longer be politically motivated, but rather performance oriented.

“I’m talking what I know, because many times a Standard Eight councillor from my constituency has been pestering me to appoint him to a parastatal board, and because he controls some 2000 votes in his location I cannot tell him he is not fit,” he said.

“So some of you will find yourself landed with such board appointments,” he went on.

Otieno pledged that the ‘top government officials’ were committed to seeing this directive through.

“We do not expect to put the load on your shoulders to change the environment to enhance productivity, when at the same time in our office from Harambee House, Head of public service, the President, the Prime Minister, we keep posting people who cannot perform beyond where they are,” he noted.

Otieno further announced plans to move all commercial enterprises in the public sector to the private sector to improve efficiency.

He and Muthaura urged the gathering to come up with specialised guidelines for their sector, while the waiting for the main PPP framework.

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