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Ombudsman set to revamp complaints filing system

The Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) is developing an App to make it easier for the public to file complaints about dissatisfactory service in the public sector from the comfort of their homes.

Commission Chairperson Florence Kajuju said the Commission is working in partnership with the Ministry of Public Service to strengthen the complaints management system that would be launched as the PASHA Ombudsman platform to be hosted by the Commission on Administrative Justice.

Speaking during the Fourth Huduma Ombudsman Award ceremony at KICC, Kajuju said the Commission has since its inception in 2011 made significant strides in resolving complaints, improving efficiency, and fostering a responsive culture in public service adding that over 920 000 complaints have been resolved.

Kajuju said the Commission has helped restructure the complaint-handling mechanisms by Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and County Governments (MDACs) through capacity-building seminars for public officers and institutions and added that through the Wajibika initiative MDAs will now be held accountable to the public.

The Commission Chair reiterated the mission of the Office of the Ombudsman to promote good governance, the rule of law, and accountability in the management of public affairs and cited an instance of callous behavior by public servants reported to the Commission where a patient requiring surgery overseas was granted a passport while the donor was denied.

She commended public officers who have demonstrated diligence in their duties and cautioned them against dropping the ball adding that “through their exemplary service, their efforts will be appreciated and rewarded”.

Commission Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Mercy Wambua reiterated that the Commission is committed to achieving administrative justice guided by the slogan “Hata anyone ana haki.”

The Commission CEO said an analysis of the complaints received over the years shows that the majority of grievances related to delays in services sought by Kenyans at 22.6 percent while unlawful official conduct constitutes 18 percent. Inefficiency in service delivery, unfair treatment, and abuse of follow at 12.5, 11.3, and 10.6 percent respectively.

Other forms of maladministration cited relate to incompetence, ineptitude, manifest injustice, discourtesy, and unresponsiveness which account for 25 percent of complaints.

Among those celebrated for outstanding service included several institutions and individuals who bagged prestigious accolades in different categories. Kenya Revenue Authority, Huduma Kenya, and the National Council for Law Reporting won first place in institutional groupings.

Corporal Julius Karanja Irungu, a police officer stationed at Wajir SOG won the Ombudsman Valor Award for his bravery during an IED terror attack in Wajir.

Another notable winner was Precious Dama Randu, Assistant County Commissioner, Matsangoni division in Kilifi North Sub- County who excelled in the public service delivery category.

The awards consisted of individual, institutional, and Ombudsman Valor Award categories that appreciate effective, accountable, and responsive public service. The Commission has adopted this approach to promote compliance with administrative justice and access to information.

By Kizito Maruti, Winnie Wachira and Fridah Kamuri

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