, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – The National Youth Service has not only grabbed the headlines for equipping youths in Kenya with skills, but has also had its better share of controversy emanating multi million shillings from corruption allegations.
This has led to an eroded image and lost confidence from a section of the population, a fact Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru admits but now says will be part of the state agency’s bitter past.
Within one month, Waiguru says she will overhaul key departments at the National Youth Service to seal corruption loopholes identified in a report compiled by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission which was released on Monday morning.
“The recommendations are tough…one is a complete overhaul of the process and the system, we need to automate for example in terms of revenue collection,” she stated.
Also in the recommendations include, “building the human resource capacity, there are certain areas where we have inadequate staff. The recommendations are diverse. We will have to re-look on all of them completely.”
The departments targeted include Finance, Administration and Human Resource.
If the Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) which she had requested EACC to undertake in 2004 was in place, “we would be a better place certainly. I don’t believe if we implement the recommendations as we have been given that we will have the same challenges.”
Waiguru also revealed that she has since recorded a statement with the detectives as directed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko over the theft of Sh791 million siphoned through the IFMIS system.
She however made clear that she recorded the report as the person who raised the red flag.
EACC Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo who released the report said it is aimed at ensuring early detection of corruption, real time reporting and develop stringent disciplinary mechanism.
The risk assessment report singles out poor financial management, procurement and internal audit systems as key ingredients to corruption at the state department that has dominated news lately due to loss of hundreds of millions.
“The recommendations provided aim at institutionalizing good financial management systems such as; tight systems of control in revenue collection, cash handling, accountability, procurement and ensuring that the internal audit function performs its duties with the requisite autonomy,” he stated.
The assessment, he said disclosed a number if irregularities in the approvals and surrender of imprests which have not been, “accounted for or properly surrendered.”
He said if the menace of corruption be-deviling the service was to be conquered, there was need to establish systems, policies, procedures and structures that enhance corruption prevention and ethical conduct.
“These include internal and external corruption reporting mechanisms and mechanisms for protecting those who report corruption and unethical conduct,” he said.
Investigations conducted by the CID have unearthed the loss of over Sh700 million in dubious deals, besides much more paid out through the IFMIS system.
The EACC is undertaking a fresh investigation into the dubious deals at the institution and has already questioned its Director General Nelson Githinji.