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Ombudsman lists prominent forms of maladministration in public offices

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The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday launched the Status of Administrative Justice and Access to Information Report 2012 to 2023.

In the report, the Ombudsman lists a number of issues it described as prominent forms of maladministration in the public sector.

Top on the list, according to the report, is delay which the Commission says entails “the failure by a public institution to act within reasonable time in tandem with the laid down standard procedures and practices,”

The Commission on Administrative Justice also cited Unresponsive official conduct which denotes the failure by a public officer without any justifiable cause to act or respond to official communication within public administration.

Abuse of power, which represents the misuse of authority by a public officer that negatively impacts others, including inducing them to commit an improper act, is also a major issue in the administration of service in the public sector.

“Unfair treatment means an act or omission in the conduct of public duty which does not conform to approved standards of justice, honesty or ethics,”
cited the commission as another issue bedeviling the sector

And that’s not all as the Ombudsman decried administrative injustice amounting to acts, omissions, or decisions of a public entity that are wrongful or unjust.

During the period in review, the Commission says it handled 42,678 complaints out of which 25,501 were resolved representing a resolution rate of 59.8% with the delay being the major form of maladministration at 22.60%.

On its second mandate of overseeing the enforcement of the access to information law as guaranteed by Article 35 of the Constitution and operationalized by the Access to Information Act, 2016, CAJ says it received 854 appeals for review since 2016 when the ATI was passed and “resolved 786 representing a resolution rate of 85%,”

“The Commission received 53.34% of all complaints against seventeen institutions with the National Police Service, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Interior and Coordination, Judiciary, and the MOE being the institutions most complained against,” the report said

The report was unveiled at the Kenya School of Government in an event presided over by the Chairperson of National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the George Murugara.

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