𝐓𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐀𝐮𝐠𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝟖, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑.
The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee led by the Vice-Chairperson Hon. Mwengi Mutuse (Kibwezi West), has today received more submissions on the Conflict of Interest Bill, 2023. The Bill, which is sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah (Kikuyu), is an Act of Parliament to provide for the management and regulation of conflict of interest in the discharge of official duties and connected purposes.
The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) while appearing before the committee proposed deletion of the words “has interests” in section 8(c), and rephrasing the section as, “pursue interests that conflict with the duties of the public officer.” The commission argued that public officers have diverse personal interests.
NPSC also proposed deletion of section 15(1)(b), that calls for disclosure of any offers outside employment that could place the officer in a situation of conflict of interest within seven days of receiving the offer, noting that, receipt of an offer does not indicate any omission in the conduct of the public officer to act for private interests.
The committee also heard from the Public Service Commission (PSC), who noted that Conflict of Interest is addressed both in the Public Officer Ethics Act and Leadership and Integrity Act.
PSC argued that any unidentified gaps can be addressed by amending the already existing legislation, while citing that clauses 38 to 41 could be accommodated in those legislations.
The proposal to have the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) the repository for wealth declaration was also objected by PSC.
“There are different Commissions and County Public Service Boards, and it will be against the spirit of the United Nations Convention against corruption because EACC does not exercise disciplinary control over the public officers.” Said Amb. Anthony Muchiri, the Chairperson of PSC.
Other stakeholders who appeared for a second time for further indulgence with the committee include the Transparency International and Mzalendo Trust representing civil societies, the Teachers Service Commission, Law Society of Kenya, National Land Commission and the Kenya Law Reforms Commission.