NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6 – The Cabinet has approved the draft Financial Services Authority Bill 2016 which will merge the functions of four financial regulatory bodies.
The Financial Services Authority will merge and take over the functions of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) and the SACCOS Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA).
The purpose of the reform of the financial sector is to provide a consolidated supervision for financial services to eliminate regulatory gaps, and to increase protection of consumers of financial services.
The initiative to reduce the number of regulatory bodies all working in the same field is part of President Kenyatta’s policy to make doing business in Kenya easier than it has ever been.
Under the proposed Bill, all non-bank financial service providers will be licensed by the FSA through a single license.
The authority will have a full range of administrative and enforcement powers to meet its statutory mandate.
The FSA will at all times retain the right to withdraw any delegation of powers for self-regulation, if it is not satisfied with the organisation given such powers.
At the same time, Cabinet, which was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, has approved the Computer and Cybercrime Bill 2016, which seeks to address investigative and prosecutorial challenges arising from the current legal framework the country is using.
The new Bill will deal with issues such as identity theft, online fraud, money laundering, phishing, cyber stalking, hate speech and radicalization.
It will criminalize conduct such as illegal access, data and system interference, child pornography and other computer related fraud.
The Bill also aims at improving investigations into cyber crimes by making provisions for procedural law tools and securing electronic evidence for effective national and international cooperation.
The Cabinet meeting at State House also approved the National Irrigation Policy and the Irrigation Bill 2016.
The proposed policy gives details of mechanisms through which the two levels of government will work together for the development of irrigation in the country.
It proposes the establishment of key institutions including the National Irrigation Development Authority (NIDA), which will be responsible for implementation of national irrigation schemes, strategic irrigation schemes, trans-boundary and trans-county schemes.
The policy further proposes the establishment of the Irrigation Development Fund (IDF) to be responsible for sustained and continuous funding of the sub-sector.
It also proposes the establishment of County Irrigation Development Units (CIDU) to be responsible for irrigation development and management at the county level.