, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed all State entities to publish details of tenders awarded for the delivery of goods and services beginning July 1 in a bid to enhance accountability and transparency in the utilisation of public funds.
In new measures intended to tame corruption in public service, President Kenyatta in an Executive Order signed Wednesday also directed government procurement departments to use the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) from January next year to pay for goods and services.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich was directed to ensure the integrity of IFMIS is safeguarded and secured, ahead of the transition.
“The Executive Order is premised on the constitutional principles of Chapter 12 on Public Financial Management, and in particular Articles 201 and 227 that emphasize integrity, prudent use of financial resources, and fair, equitable, competitive and cost effective procurement,” a statement from State House Spokesperson, Manoah Esipisu, read.
Under the new guidelines, members of the public will have access to information regarding contracts awarded to business entities, their prices, and particulars of suppliers including company directors of companies doing business with government agencies.
According to Esipisu, accounting officers in ministries, parastatals, and other government entities will be held liable for any loss of public funds under their watch.
“As outlined in their respective Letters of Appointment, Accounting Officers shall take personal responsibility for all procurements in their agencies, and will be held personally accountable for all public resources under their charge,” he said.
The measures come even as the prosecution of 40 public servants including suspended Public Service and Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo accused of colluding with 14 company directors in the fraudulent payment of Sh468 million from public funds allocated to the National Youth Service (NYS) for goods and services not procured entered trial after 46 individuals were charged.
The 46 suspects charged with the NYS scam were for a second time on Tuesday forced to remain under police custody after the High Court set July 19 as the date a ruling on their bail applications will be made.
Justice Hedwig Ong’udi issued the directions on Tuesday after the suspects moved to her court to challenge a decision by a magistrate court to deny them bail.
In his ruling Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti denied the suspects bail when they appeared before his court on June 5 citing the gross economic crimes they face.
He said the 46 could interfere with ongoing investigations if freed at the time.
The ruling by Justice Ong’udi came hot on the heels of another ruling on Monday in which a magistrate court ordered some 100 accounts in twenty commercial banks frozen after the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) moved to court petitioning for the same.
ARA had told the court the said accounts which are connected to the 54 NYS suspects among them 14 company directors were being probed for money laundering.
According to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji, investigators found the Sh468 million payments to ten business entities were approved without any tender having been awarded nor product or service supplied.
PS Omollo and NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai were charged on May 29 with conspiracy to commit corruption and abusing powers and privileges conferred on them by virtue of the offices they held when the irregular payments were approved.
Similar charges were preferred against former Acting NYS Director-General Sammy Michuki as well as Senior Deputy Director Nicholas Ahere and Acting Director of Finance Wellington Lubira.