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17 CEOs summoned over eCitizen delays

The Government has summoned the management of 17 state-run agencies next week to explain their failure to comply with a presidential directive on payments of services through eCitizen.

The Secretary to the Cabinet Ms Mercy Wanjau who chairs the eCitizen Implementation Committee and is the convener of Tuesday’s meeting said principal secretaries for State Departments under which the agencies fall, chief executive officers and Board chairpersons will be in attendance.

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Among the summoned agencies are Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, Kenya National Examination Council, National Hospital Insurance Fund, Higher Education Loans Board, the Hustler Fund and the Agricultural Finance Corporation. Others are Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Ports Authority, National Cereals and Produce Board, National Aids Control Council, the Mathari Referral and Teaching Hospital, Kenya Railways Corporation, Kenya Ferry Services Limited, Kenya National Trading Corporation and the Kenya School of Government.

Ms Wanjau who was addressing officials from various state agencies in Syokimau, Machakos County, said the summons followed a comply-or-explain letter that she had issued on 4th of August this year.

“Following conversations that have happened, these state corporations have been invited for a meeting on Tuesday at 9 am and this meeting is to be attended by the CEO, the Chair of the board and the PS who is the accounting officer.”

She said although the agencies had initially been granted temporary exemption from closing their paybills and channelling all payments to 222222 on account of their unique services, they were still bound by the December 31st deadline.

“The exemption was on the premise that indeed you need time but you still must remain on the pathway for digitisation without fracturing your services.” On June 30th, during the unveiling of government services on eCitizen, President William Ruto directed all state agencies to migrate their services online and to use 222222 as the official paybill by the end of the year.

The Secretary to the Cabinet accused some of agencies of frustrating revenue collection and transparency that were intended by the directive by maintaining separate bank accounts and advertising unofficial payment channels.

“If you want to use 222222 but meanwhile encourage payments to alternative platforms, what are you saying?” Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julis Bitok under whose docket eCitizen falls said the government intended to seal all loopholes on revenue collected to hit the target of Ksh1.5T annual collection.

“With technology, we will seal loopholes, enhance service delivery and raise revenue collection to hit out targets.”

The PS for Performance and Delivery Management Veronica Nduva urged public officers to take the directive on eCitizen services seriously as it was a means of assessing individual and organisation’s performance.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications PS Edward Kisiangani challenged MDAs to deploy simplified communication on the availability of services on eCitizen.

The meeting was also addressed by Devolution PS Terry Mbaika and her Tourism counterpart John Ololtuaa.

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