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Make public tender details, Uhuru orders State firms

Irene Githinji @gitshee

It will now be mandatory for government entities and public owned companies to publish full details of tenders and awards starting July 1, in the latest heightened efforts to enhance accountability in public procurement.

This publication will allow for public scrutiny of  the information of items or services purchased, contract prices, particulars of suppliers including owners, directors and beneficial ownership.

In a signed statement yesterday, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said the move was aimed at achieving the “highest level of scrutiny” in all units of public administration to improve management of public resources.

He further said starting January 1, 2019 all public procurement will be undertaken electronically through the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) platform.

Consequently, National Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich has been directed to guarantee the integrity of the system, and secure seamless integration of all public procuring entities.

The new directives are contained in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Executive orders issued yesterday.

“In line with the commitment to entrench good governance in the management of public affairs, and deepen accountability and transparency in the procurement of public goods, works and services, the President has issued an Executive Order on ‘Procurement of Public Goods, Works and Services by Public Entities’,” Esipisu said yesterday in a statement.

He said the Executive Order was premised on the Constitutional principles of Chapter 12 on public financial management, particularly Articles 201 and 227 that emphasise integrity, prudent use of financial resources, and fair, equitable, competitive and cost effective procurement.

Similarly, accounting officers are to take personal responsibility for all procurements in their agencies and will be held personally accountable for all public resources under their charge as outlined in their respective appointment letters.

The move comes in the wake of a recent directive that all Heads of Procurement and Accounting Units in Government ministries and State agencies step aside, pending fresh vetting.

This is aimed at rooting out corrupt workforce in public offices. They were also directed to submit their personal information including that of assets and liabilities to the Office of the Head of Public Service.

“Whereas the exercise is geared towards determining suitability to continue holding public office in the public trust and promote confidence in the public service, the same will be undertaken in a fair and objective manner, exercised with due care and regard to officers’ rights as enshrined in the constitution,” a statement issued last week stated.

President Uhuru has been firm in the war against corruption, warning that those who fail to meet the vetting standards would be suspended and prosecuted if found culpable of violating procurement laws.

He issued a stern warning against corrupt leaders saying they will carry their own cross when they break the law. Time and again, the President has firmly warned that his administration will not tolerate any public officer abusing the integrity of offices they hold.

Last month, Uhuru put Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and other State officials on notice over corruption and wastage of public funds saying they must be fully accountable for every coin allocated to their docket.

The President has been categorical that all monies plundered must be returned which will in turn go a long way in funding development projects in line with Jubilee’s manifesto.

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