Public entities to develop guidelines on public participation

Written By: O'Brien Kimani/Christine Muchira

Public entities will be required to develop specific guidelines on public participation in a bid to involve Kenyans in decision making.

The Public Participation Bill 2017 which has been drafted by the Attorney General’s office proposes punitive measures to be taken on entities that fail to engage the citizenry on key issues.

Devolution Principal Secretary Micah Powon says public bodies shall be required to publish specific guidelines on public participation in the Kenya Gazette within three months of the commencement of the Act.

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The constitution emphasizes on strengthening public participation in the decision making by the national and county governments as well as public institutions.

However, this constitutional requirement has not been followed to the letter.

Another challenge has been lack a policy framework that determines how public participation process would be implemented.

Speaking during a governance conference, Former South Africa Chief Justice Mervyn King said there is a serious need to streamline corporate governance rules in corporate Kenya to boost investor confidence in the management of organizations.

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In the last five years, four listed companies and two banks have had their operations affected by corruption and mismanagement.

In July last 2017, the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by the high court suspending the printing of presidential ballot papers by Dubai based Al Ghurair Printing company.

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In a unanimous decision on Thursday, the five judge bench presided by Justice Erastus Githinji ruled that the high court decision failed to consider constitutional timelines on when the general election needs to be held, arguing that public participation was not mandatory during direct tendering as exercised by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

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Appellate Judges Erastus Githinji, Roselyn Nambuye, Alnashir Visram, Professor James Odek and Jamila Mohammed in their 104 page judgment, found that the high court erred in law when it found that there was sufficient time to restart the procurement process.

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