E-government tightens noose on corrupt, rent-seeking public officials

November 20, 2015
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HUDUMA-CENTRE-MAKADARA
Kenyans can now apply over 20 government documents through Huduma centres

, ICT consultant Peter Muya of PTI Consulting suggests an additional layer of protection running on top of IFMIS can help the government tighten controls.

“One of the investments government must do is to have an integrated ethics management system. This system should be able to probe the IFMIS and make quick analysis on procurement behavior looking for irregular patterns and auto create investigation cases,” explains Muya.

Muya adds such a system will freeze suspicious transactions and roll out action before money is embezzled not after the fact.

Ochieng, however, assures the security measures put in place within IFMIS are ‘satisfactory’ singling out the three-layered security system at the application, database and infrastructure level.

“The passwords are encrypted so the issue of lost passwords is a user awareness issue. We are continuously training and enhancing the capacity of officers at both the national and county governments to ensure full compliance,” adds Ochieng.

Huduma centre concept is perhaps the public face of how IT can transform government services. The one-stop shops have streamlined service delivery and revenue collection. Kenyans are now applying and getting over 20 government documents like parking tickets, clearance certificates, ID cards, business permit and police abstracts within minutes.

“Removing or minimizing the human interface considerably decreases the opportunities for bribery and rent seeking. For instance, renewing a driving license in the old way exposed license holders to extortion and opened large avenues through which revenue could be diverted. With an electronic application and payment system, those gaps are reduced considerably,” says Kimeu.

However, Kimeu cautions the integrity of an IT system is as good as the integrity of those who use it.

Part 1 | Part 2

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