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290 huduma centres to be opened

Cabinet Secretary (CS) of Public Service, Gender, and Affirmative Action Aisha Jumwa

The government is set to establish 290 Huduma centres in all constituencies in a bid to bring services closer to the people.

Cabinet Secretary (CS) of Public Service, Gender, and Affirmative Action Aisha Jumwa said Huduma Kenya in its digitalization plan has earmarked to roll out 290 Huduma Centres in 290 constituencies following requests from citizens and leaders.

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The branches, the CS said will save millions of shillings citizens use to access Huduma centres as most of them are located in county headquarters except Nairobi and Kajiado which have five and two centers respectively.

“This year we will construct a number of Huduma centres and should seek additional funding to roll the construction of sub-counties Huduma centres to bring services closer to Mwananchi,” said CS Jumwa.

The Ministry of Public Service is exploring the possibility of collaborating with the National Government- Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) for funding the establishment of some of the sub-counties Huduma Centres.

CS Jumwa spoke in Mombasa Friday when she closed the first annual Huduma Centres manager’s conference in Mombasa. The managers were advised to reposition themselves and embrace the digital era.

“Huduma Kenya is known as the trusted interface between the citizens and government services and that’s the reason Huduma is here to stay. Huduma Kenya must find its definite place to take digital services to the people,” said CS Jumwa.

On digitization, she commended Huduma’s leadership for being innovative and embracing the digital era resonates with the digitization pillar of the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

Some of the technologies are the service by appointment (digital queuing and customer feedback system), track my service, virtual desktop infrastructure, Internet Protocol (IP) phones, CCTVs, and LAN-connected printers.

The technologies, CS Jumwa said have eliminated queues at the centres and reduced the waiting time for a service and Kenyans only visited centres when documents are ready and have received a confirmation message.

CS Jumwa said Universal agents’ now renamed BETA agents will augment the centres by offering multiple services from various ministries, departments, and agencies.

 “The BETA agents should reduce the congestion at Huduma centres and reduce the cost of deploying services to Huduma centres,’’ she said. “The BETA agents will play a critical role in supporting access to the over 5000 digitized government services by citizens.”

Huduma Centres staff were urged to familiarize themselves with all the services onboarded in the e-citizen platform to assist Persons Living with Disabilities and digitally challenged people.

The CS committed to fast-track the onboarding of the Huduma managers onto the Huduma structures.

The CS disclosed that ID replacement has resumed and the backlog that was there is almost cleared with over 200,000 IDs dispatched to Huduma centres and ready for collection.

“We are following up with DCI and NTSA to resolve and clear the backlog of certificates of good conduct and smart driving licenses,” she said.

Huduma Kenya a 2030 flagship project launched in 2013 to transform public service delivery into more accessible, effective, efficient, dignified, and citizen-centric public service.

Huduma Kenya has operationalized three additional platforms, the Huduma Mashinani outreaches that take services to far-flung areas, Government Huduma contact centers that provide first and second-level escalation for all complaints, inquiries, and updates to Kenyans via telephone, and social media.

Huduma M and E services provide government information through the Huduma website.

“These channels have served over 120M customers over the last 10 years. Offering in-person and assisted services,’’ said CS Jumwa adding that customer satisfaction is at 95 percent with 18 local, regional, and international awards.

“Huduma has won the hearts of many countries so far over 20 have benchmarked with Huduma Kenya,’’ said CS Jumwa adding that she will not condone corruption practices.

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