Court told vetting of procurement officers being done justly

June 11, 2018 4:54 pm
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Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto told Justice Onesmus Makau that the exercise being undertaken by the government is administrative action, which is not meant to victimize any officer/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – At least 458 procurement and accounting officers have submitted their respective information as part of compliance with the circular issued by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, a court has been told.

Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto told Justice Onesmus Makau that the exercise being undertaken by the government is administrative action, which is not meant to victimize any officer.

He said this is contrary to assertions by human rights activist Okiya Omtatah that the officers will be harassed and dismissed from the Public Service if the information was not received by June 8.

He said that those who haven’t done so are given time to comply as the exercise is meant to make the public aware what the government is doing in areas of procurement and accounting of public resources.

Ogeto and Senior Counsel George Oraro said that the AG chose to file the application seeking to vary the orders suspending the circular since the it was issued without the involvement of his office and the Public Service Commission who have been made parties to the proceedings.

“The orders are prejudicial and injurious to the public in the fight against corruption that is crippling the country,” the judge heard.

Oraro said the intended appraisal is not a disciplinary issue, but an inquiry into the record of the heads of procurement and accounting units in ministries, departments and agencies which includes State corporations.

He argued that the officers’ rights have not been violated, saying that all heads of procurement and accounting units will be entitled to their full benefits, which include salaries and allowances.

The court heard that none of the officers alleged to be affected has approached the court and it’s only speculative information which the court has been asked to act on.

The lawyer submitted that the Head of State while addressing Madaraka Day celebration on June 1 did mention the vetting of the officers, saying the statement by the President “was part of his duty as contained in the Constitution.”

He urged the judge to vary or set aside the order to pave way for proper administrative action by the government to ensure protection of public resources and provision of what Kenyans desire.

The judge will deliver his ruling on June 13 whether to vary the order or dismiss the AG’s application.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court last week suspended the circular directing all heads of procurement and accounting units to vacate their offices and surrender all relevant documents to the office of Head of Public Service.

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