Study: Over half of public staff failed integrity probe

Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 04:00 | By
NHIF building. PHOTO/ Courtesy

More than half of the public officers who took random targeted integrity tests conducted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission failed, a report released yesterday says.

EACC’’s Report of Activities and Financial Statements for the Financial Year 2021/2022, reveals that a total of 103 random and targeted integrity tests were done. These were within the National Police Service (NPS), Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), The Judiciary, Nairobi Metropolitan Services, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services, Kenya Seed Company, Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, among other institutions.

Out of the 103 tests, 58 per cent (60) failed, 27 per cent (28) passed and 14 per cent (15) were inconclusive. The commission recommended internal administrative action for those who failed the tests.

State corporations, parastatals, county assemblies and governments, were heavily implicated in multi-billion-shilling corruption-related inquiries enumerated in the report.

It says EACC received and processed 5,048 reports, out of which 1,916 were relevant to its anti-corruption mandate, representing 38 per cent of the reports received. Some 33 per cent of the 1916 reports were related to bribery, 18 per cent to embezzlement of public funds, and 13 per cent to unethical conduct.

In the 2021/2022 financial year, 457 cases were under investigation for corruption, economic crimes, bribery and unethical conduct. In total, the EACC detailed 61 investigations into corruption, economic crimes, bribery and unethical conduct carried out in the 2021/2022 financial year.

These include inquiries into claims of irregular payments of Sh5.9 billion alleged to have been embezzled in a tender to drill geothermal wells in Baringo — awarded to Hong Kong Offshore Oil Services Ltd — in the 2015/2016 financial year.

Others include a probe into alleged procurement irregularities of Sh3.9 billion at National Hospital Insurance Funds (NHIF) in a tender for the construction of a multi-storey carpark in Nairobi between the financial years 2002/2003 and 2010/2011.

Kenya National Examinations Council was also under inquiry for alleged embezzlement of Sh3 billion for the construction of the New Mitihani House located along Mombasa Road.  

National Museums of Kenya was embroiled in an inquiry relating to the reported embezzlement of funds in a seven-year racket for payment of ghost workers between August 2015 and February 2022.

Counties on the radar

Others include Nairobi City County Government and the county governments of Wajir, Mandera, Kwale, Kitui, Mandera, Bomet, Kisumu, Mandera, and Marsabit.

County assemblies implicated in the report include Kericho, Nandi, Bungoma, Kwale, Machakos, Nyamira and Meru.

Former Mandera Governor Ibrahim Ali Roba, now Mandera Senator, is being investigated for conflict of interest in payments of Sh1.67 billion by the county government to companies associated with him between 2013/2014 and 2021/2022.

The commission also probed a KEMS legal officer alleged to have solicited a bribe of Sh1.5 million while facilitating payment of legal fees. Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa is also facing an inquiry into allegations of forging an academic certificate.

In the 2021/2022 financial year, the commission obtained 570 warrants for inspecting or searching bank accounts, premises, aircraft and vehicles belonging to suspects of graft, economic crimes and related offences, and their associates.

The EACC also completed 154 files on corruption and economic crimes, which were forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for review. It also completed 52 investigations on violations of Chapter Six of the Constitution and the Leadership and Integrity Act, of 2012.

These include an inquiry into the alleged embezzlement of public funds in Baringo-Silali Project, a probe into procurement irregularities of Sh466,892,170 in a tender for construction of Kwale County Assembly in the 2016/2017 financial year, and procurement irregularities of Sh380 million in a tender for an annual maintenance contract for Bungoma Automated Revenue Management System.

It was awarded to Tritek Consulting in the 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 financial years. There were also inquiries into the misappropriation of funds for Takataka Ni Mali Initiative in Kajiado, and Sh19.2 million for the construction of Thome-Tharua Road in Laikipia East Constituency.

More on News