EACC faults counties for poor records management

Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 15:09 | By
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak. PHOTO/@EACCKenya/X

The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) has faulted county executives and county assemblies for poor record-keeping practices.

This follows several corruption risk assessments done by the anti-graft body in various counties, discovering a poor state of records management.

In a circular to governors and speakers of county assemblies seen by PD Digital, EACC termed the state of affairs as impediments to effective and efficient service delivery, which creates loopholes for corruption.

Among the issues noted by EACC include a lack of record management policies and procedure manuals to guide and assign responsibilities for the management of records across all the institutional functions.

EACC also noted a lack of designated registries to centralize the receipt and dispatch of mail and ensure systematic creation, of authentic, reliable and accessible records.

"This gap leads to discretion in management of records such as letters; loss of correspondences and leakage of confidential information," EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak stated.

The two levels of government in the devolved units did not have records management professionals designated to implement suitable records management systems.

The governments also have inappropriate classification systems to allow systematic arrangement and tiling of records, leading to misfiling and loss of critical references.

"Despite the critical role that records management function play in achievement of organizational mandate, it is notable that the accounting officers have not taken measures to Institutionalize and integrate this function into the business systems and processes. Opportunities for corruption are manifested where document capture, tracking, control, maintenance, retrieval, storage and disposal systems are not structured," Mbarak added.

The anti-graft agency has also faulted counties for a lack of inventories for records and related assets, which has led to pilferage and loss of resources.

The counties are also accused of having poor tracking, control and retrieval systems, which contribute to delays in service delivery and attract corrupt malpractices to fast-track service.

The problems in the counties are further compounded by a lack of retention and disposal schedules, encouraging unauthorized destruction of records and a huge accumulation of unappraised records that frustrates access to required documents.

Other problems noted include inadequate and congested storage facilities hindering easy retrieval of records and a lack of sound planning and failure to streamline the existing records in order to have a smooth transition to computerization.

EACC also noted a lack of budgets for records management.

"The purpose of this Advisory is to bring to your attention the above concerns which hinders transparency, accountability and good governance in the conduct of public affairs and service delivery," Mbarak added.

EACC directives

EACC has now ordered each county government (executive and assembly) to develop and operationalize policies, procedures and manuals to streamline records management.

"This is in line with relevant provisions of Public Archives and Documentation Act, Cap.19 Laws of Kenya, Public Procurement Asset and Disposal Act 2012 and the Public Finance Management (County Government) Regulations 2015," Mbarak added.

Each county government has also been ordered to submit to EACC a comprehensive action plan on streamlining records management within a period of 60 working days and to provide quarterly reports to the Commission on the implementation progress.

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