Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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In-house expert consultancy enhances collaboration-county commissioner

Nakuru County Commissioner Mr. Gilbert Kitiyo has advised departmental heads to tap in-house civil service expertise and cease outsourcing services from expensive private consulting firms.

Mr. Kitiyo noted that by doing so, they will increase effectiveness of public service and help trim the bulging wage bill.

The civil service, the County Commissioner observed, was packed with the best brains and experienced hands that had the capacity to infuse in public service delivery timely research, analysis and policy suggestions.

Speaking when he chaired the County Service Delivery Committee (CSDC) meeting at the Regional Commissioner’s plenary Hall, the administrator said Kenya has maintained a highly functional civil service with a good capacity to engage in strategic thinking.

“Civil service has across its ranks the best specialists such as engineers, quantity surveyors, economists, physical planners, educationists, doctors, human resource managers and information officers among others. There should be collaboration across all departments in obtaining such in house expertise instead of contracting outsiders to do the same at an exorbitant cost,” he noted.

While noting that tapping from in-house civil service expertise consultancy will enhance the extent to which staff can collaborate with one another or share ideas and feel like they share the same office environment.

Mr. Kitiyo observed the practice will also equip young public servants with skills and competencies to deliver better services to the public.

While urging civil servants to offer quality services and ensure efficiency, the administrator asked the officials to be “innovative, prudent and resourceful” in the new dispensation to enable the Kenya Kwanza government to fulfil its promises and Kenyans’ expectations.

“Increasing demand for better and quality services by the citizens has set the stage for a new order in the management and accountability of governments,” he stated.

The County Commissioner affirmed that public administration worldwide has been undergoing major changes designed to make it more responsive and effective in meeting a range of modern challenges.

The County Service Delivery Committee, he said, is mandated to monitor and play an oversight role in projects funded by the Exchequer.

“With regard to mega projects, transparency can ensure integrity and competitiveness of the procurement process, winning public confidence in government and attracting foreign direct investment, among other benefits. Most importantly, transparency helps fight corruption,” he pointed out.

The government, he said has taken some positive steps in this regard. He cited the Companies (Beneficial Ownership Information) (Amendment) Regulations 2022, which require parties to provide beneficial ownership information in public procurement, assets disposal and public-private partnerships (PPPs).

The Public Private Partnership Act 2021 also calls for transparency by requiring contracting authorities to publish the results of tenders with key information on the projects. While the PPP Act does not require entire contracts to be published, the PPP Unit has already set up a section for uploading redacted contracts on its site.

“Transparency in the details of the PPP contracts increases public confidence in projects, achieves better value for money, reduces the risk of corruption, and even ensures the government finds it easier to mobilize more private capital for investment. Disclosures shed light on the “fine-print” clauses, making it hard for public officials to make decisions to advance their own interests,” Mr. Kitiyo explained.

The government has been looking to develop more ports, road, rail, power transmission, health, housing, water and sanitation, and the blue economy projects using PPPs

Mr. Kitiyo called on all government officials to join hands in fighting corruption, saying President William Ruto had resolved from the first day in office to stop the evil at all levels of government.

The administrator urged all agencies involved in the fight against corruption to step up surveillance and institute quick proceedings against corrupt public servants.

“I wish to state very clearly today that the government will not tolerate corrupt public officers. We should all be committed to cleaning the public service to ensure offices are manned by men and women of integrity,” the County Commissioner told departmental heads.

By Anne Mwale

 

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