Economy

Treasury eyes new policy to fight procurement graft

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Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The National Supply Chain Management Professional Framework by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani proposes that officers found culpable of abetting graft and economic crimes be blacklisted from State and private practice under new guidelines.
  • The proposed policy will require all procurement personnel to be governed by a professional membership association.
  • It also seeks to standardise the examination of procurement professional to weed out quacks.
  • Professional examinations bodies are expected to prescribe and regulate syllabuses of instruction for professional supplies certification for persons seeking to practice in public procurement.

Public procurement and supplies officers face a tougher code of practice as the National Treasury moves to review their training and regulation to curb graft.

The National Supply Chain Management Professional Framework by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani proposes that officers found culpable of abetting graft and economic crimes be blacklisted from State and private practice under new guidelines.

The proposed policy will require all procurement personnel to be governed by a professional membership association which mirrors the Law Society of Kenya(LSK), the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC), and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (Icpak).

“The Kenya Institute of Supplies Examination Body (KISEB) (will) ensure that disciplinary enforcement mechanisms provide appropriate responses to all suspected violations of integrity standards,” reads the proposed policy.

It also seeks to standardise the examination of procurement professional to weed out quacks.

Professional examinations bodies are expected to prescribe and regulate syllabuses of instruction for professional supplies certification for persons seeking to practice in public procurement.

Mr Yatani is betting on the proposed policy to boost efficiency of procurement professionals besides reducing graft.

“The development of the National Supply Chain Management Professional Framework is a key milestone in repositioning the supply chain management function for efficient and effective service delivery as envisaged in the Constitution,” he said.

The policy comes at a time procurement officers are on the spot for abetting graft.

A past review of procurement disputes before the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board revealed the lengths to which rogue employees go to manipulate the law and line their pockets with huge sums of money in shady tenders awarded to shadowy contractors.

To beat the scrutiny of the law and auditors, the crooked officials collude with a closed group of tenderers to ensure various lucrative contracts land to only certain well-connected individuals.

Kenya loses a third of its budget - the equivalent of about Sh680 billion - to corruption every year, a former head of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, (EACC) said in 2016.

So widespread was the vice that in 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed all government procurement officers to step aside and undergo fresh vetting.