Anti-counterfeits agency staff at 30pc


Anti-Counterfeit Agency CEO Elema Halake. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The anti-counterfeits agency’s ability to combat flow of illicit goods will remain hampered due to staff shortages, a new audit shows.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko says the Anti-Counterfeit Agency had 73 workers against the required staff size of 250, resulting in a shortfall of 177.

“Further, the agency’s core function of enforcement is severely understaffed as it had 35 staff members in position against the recommended establishment of 141 during the year under review,” Mr Ouko says in an audit of the agency’s books of accounts for the year to June 2017.

He said the management explained that they expect to recruit 27 inspectors in the 2018/19 year after receiving approval from the Head of Public Service and the National Treasury.

“However, even after the additional inspectors are recruited, the aggregate number will still fall short of the recommended establishment of 141 inspectors and, therefore, the agency’s ability to combat counterfeiting shall remain hampered for the foreseeable future,” Mr Ouko said.

Anti-Counterfeit Agency CEO Elema Halake said the agency came into operation in 2010 with 75 employees.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance, an umbrella body for local companies, says illicit goods account for about 40 per cent of all traded goods in the country.

Some of those are imports supposedly intended for transit to a neighbouring country, then diverted to the local market with no import fees paid.

Others are disguised as imports of lower value, thereby evading taxes while some are local counterfeits.

“Subject to the necessary approvals from government, the agency intends to increase this number progressively to 250 by 2022,” Mr Halake said in brief forwarding the agency’s books of accounts to Mr Ouko for audit.

“The agency also aims to suppress the demand side of counterfeiting by creating awareness on matters of counterfeiting,” he added.

He disclosed that the anti-counterfeit agency managed to seize goods with Sh610.1 million following enforcement in the year under review.

The agency also managed to destroy counterfeit goods worth Sh320.4 million that were confiscated in the operation.